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The ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that the restaurant chain knew about Fogle’s “depravities” 12 years ago but did little to stop him.
In the suit, which was filed in Hamilton County, Indiana, lawyers for Kathleen McLaughlin say that Subway received reports of Fogle’s “sexual interest in and activity with children” three times, beginning in 2004, but twice responded by only sending a public relations employee to question Fogle.
Subway admitted to improperly handling a third complaint, the suit says, adding that the chain never contacted the police.
Subway, the lawsuit says, was “driven by sales rather than the safety of kids."
In a statement to NBC News, Subway declined to comment on the allegations, citing the pending suit.
Fogle, who rose to national celebrity as the pound-losing pitchman of the restaurant chain, was sentenced to 15 years in prison last November after pleading guilty to charges of child pornography and engaging in sexual conduct with a minor.
During a news conference, McLaughlin’s lawyer, Mike Antrim, said that unsuccessful private communications with Subway had prompted the lawsuit.
While marketing Fogle as a family man, Antrim said, the chain knew of his interest in children and used images of McLaughlin and the couple’s kids in its advertising without a contractual agreement.
“A year ago I was in shock — my only priority was protecting my children,” McLaughlin said, adding that “a lot of questions” have surfaced in the months since.
“I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old who ask me about jail and where their father is,” she said. “I will not lie to my kids and as they get older they will ask more questions and I want to answer them.”
Antrim said McLaughlin is seeking financial damages, though no amount is listed in the suit.