Franchisee: Subway execs knew about Jared Fogle’s interest in children – USA TODAY
A former franchisee claims executives in Subway’s advertising unitÃ‚Â knew about their famous spokesman’s interest in sex with children going as far back as 2008.
Cindy Mills, who ran a Subway restaurant franchise in Pensacola, Fla., said she started reaching out to Subway executives about Jared Fogle’s interest in children after he spoke openly about it with her.
In total, Mills talked to three executives with Subway’s advertising unit, known as the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFTAT), she told Business Insider in an interview that included her lawyer, Robert Beasley. SFAFT pools and manages advertising funds for the restaurant chain’s franchisees.
Fogle, who has been Subway’s most recognized spokesman for 15 years, has admitted to child pornography and traveling to have sex with minors, according to prosecutors in Indiana, where Fogle lives. Fogle, famous for losing about 245 pounds on a diet of Subway sandwiches in college, is expected to plead guilty to the allegations at a later date.
Subway has said it has cut off all ties with its former pitchman in light of his arrest and expected guilty plea. But Mill’s allegations, which emerged Thursday, threaten to muddy the restaurant chain as well.
Kevin Kane, a spokesman for Subway, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Mills said she met Fogle at a Subway event and had an affair with him, according to BI’s report. During that time, Fogle told her he’d had sex with prostitutes between the ages of 9 and 16 years old in Thailand and the US, she said. He also asked her to set up a meeting for him with Mills’ cousin, who was underage at the time, she told BI.
Mills lawyer didn’t immediately return a request for an interview.
Mills became “uncomfortable with relationship” after Fogle allegedly pressured Mills to sell herself on Craigslist, BI said.
Mills told Jeff Moody, head of SFAFT, about Jared’s disturbing behavior in a phone call, she said. She also shared her concerns with two other SFAFT executives at a Subway-sponsored NASCAR event in Phoenix, she said.
She said she did not go to the police because she was afraid of Jared’s money and power.
Fogle’s arrest comes as Subway struggles to fight off growing competition from restaurant chains like Chik-Fil-A and Chipotle.
Subway was founded on this day 50 years ago. On Thursday, Subway marked the birthday with a “small celebration” at their Milford, Conn., headquarters, the company said on Thursday.