NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – The wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is suing the company, saying they knew about his sexual interest in children but did nothing about it.
Katie McLaughlin’s attorneys from Church Church Hittle + Antrim discussed the litigation filed against Subway during a news conference on Monday.
McLaughlin filed court documents in Hamilton County on October 24, 2016 for five counts including invasion of privacy /misappropriation of likeness, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, negligence per se, and right of publicity.
According to the documents on at least three occasions Subway received reports regarding Fogle’s sexual activity with children, but they never reported anything to law enforcement.
As early as 2004, Subway’s vice president received a complaint that Fogle approached a young girl about a sex act at a promotional event for Subway in Las Vegas.
“Driven by sales rather than the safety of kids, Subway sent its senior public relations manager to ask Jared and the franchisee owner, rather than the victim, about the incident,” the documents say. Despite their knowledge of his sexual interest in children, they continued to promote their “star spokesman.”
Once again in 2008, Cindy Mills, a Subway franchise owner in Florida, notified the Subway CEO at the time Jeff Moody via phone call about disturbing comments Fogle made about children.
Similar to their response after the 2004 incident, Subway sent its senior public relations manager to ask Fogle about the incident. Fogle denied the allegations, and once again, nothing was done.
McLaughlin got engaged in 2009 and then married in 2010. Subway never informed McLaughlin about the allegations, and she only found out about them after the FBI raided their home on July 7, 2015.
“Subway made a terribly misguided assumption that Jared’s marrying Katie would correct Jared’s pedophilia behavior,” court docs say.
Additionally, Subway promoted “Jared’s story” in a national campaign in March 2015 with character’s that depicted McLaughlin and her two children, however, she says they never received proper consent to do so.
During the press conference, McLaughlin said she learned about the allegations against Fogle when the FBI banged on her family's door on July 7, 2015. "I had no idea that the nightmare was just beginning. I was shocked by what I learned in the weeks and months to follow," said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin went on to say that the reason she filed the lawsuit is because she has questions ."Questions that someday my children will ask me and questions that I imagine the families of the 14 victims are asking." According to her attorney, Subway has not responded to any of McLaughlin's questions, and that was a big factor in McLaughlin making the decision to file the lawsuit.
"I have a three year old and a five year old who now ask me every day about jail and about where their father is," McLaughlin said. "I think I owe my kids an explanation. I will not lie to my kids, and I want to be able to answer those questions some day."
McLaughlin is also seeking damages after Subway portrayed her and her children in an ad without consent, the lawsuit says. According to McLaughlin's attorney, the amount in damages sought against Subway is unknown at this time.
FOX59 reached out to Subway for comment. A Subway spokesman said “As this is pending legal action, we cannot provide comment.”
Fogle was arrested in August 2015 on child pornography charges. Just a few hours before Fogle made his first court appearance, McLaughlin announced her decision to divorce Fogle.
She released the following statement announcing her decision:
“Obviously, I am extremely shocked and disappointed by the recent developments involving Jared. I am in the process of seeking a dissolution of the marriage. My focus is exclusively on the well-being of my children. Neither I nor my family will have any further comment on the matter. I appreciate respect for my family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
McLaughlin bashed Fogle's parenting skills in the divorce documents, stating she has been “working tirelessly since in an attempt to provide a sense of security and normality for the [couple’s] young children.”
Court documents also detailed Kathleen’s thoughts on Jared’s parenting skills: “He did not play much of a role in the day-to-day lives of the children even prior to becoming the focus of a criminal investigation.” She told the court the last time Jared saw the children was in August.
Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison last November in the child exploitation case. The sentence was handed down by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt after he agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to receive child pornography and traveling to have sex with minors.
The finalized divorce settlement came about a week later. McLaughlin was awarded $7 million in the settlement.