A former franchisee claims executives in Subway’s advertising unit 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 but Mill’s allegations, which emerged Thursday, threaten to muddy the restaurant chain as well.
“Subway is continuing its investigation regarding any potential concerns it may have received concerning former spokesperson Jared Fogle,” Subway said in an emailed statement. “The company will communicate further once the investigation is complete.”
Mills said she met Fogle at a Subway event and had an affair with him, according to BI’s reports. 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 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.
Mills declined a follow-up interview because she never intended the article that came out of her interview with BI to focus on her conversations with Subway’s executives, her lawyer told USA TODAY.
“Shes not at all interested in being out there in the public on this angle. There’s no benefit to her,” Beasley said. “It’s not her goal to get into the Subway angle of this,” he said.
Mills went to the F.B.I with compromising texts she had from Fogle after Russell Taylor, the executive director of Fogle’s foundation, was arrested on child pornography in April, Beasley said. Mills did that to ensure Fogle was also investigated, and she agreed to the BI interview to talk about that, Beasley said.
Still, Beasley confirmed that Mills complained to Subway’s ad executives about Fogle’s interest in young girls because she wanted them “to be relieved of the advertising obligation” that required her, as an franchisee, to have Fogle’s image in her store. “She couldn’t stand looking at Jared knowing what she knew about him,” Beasley said.
Fogle’s arrest comes as Subway struggles to fight off growing competition from restaurant chains like Chik-Fil-A and Chipotle.
Hey Jared don’t drop the soap in the shower in Prison…….