Subway and longtime pitchman Jared Fogle are suspending their relationship because of a police investigation of the customer-turned-spokesman, the sandwich chain said in a statement. It described the decision as mutual.
The release to the media also indicates that Fogle is cooperating with legal authorities, which include a special task force formed in his home state of Indiana to fight child pornography. The FBI and U.S. Postal Service authorities are also involved, according to eyewitness accounts of the raid on Fogle’s house early Tuesday morning. Fogle, 37, lives in Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis. Electronic equipment was taken from Fogle’s home and kept by the police.
The authorities have yet to reveal the reason for the raid. A lawyer representing Fogle said that no charges have been alleged and stressed that his client had not been detained.
The raid is believed to be related to the arrest in May of Russell Taylor, then executive director of the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed by Fogle to fight child obesity. Taylor was charged with producing and possessing child-porn videos.
Fogle does not expect any action to be taken against him as a result of the investigation, the Subway statement noted.
The parting suspends a relationship that extends back to 2000, when Fogle, then a student at Indiana University, explained in a Subway commercial that he had overcome his obesity in large part by eating every day at a unit of the chain. Fogle had dropped his weight to 190 pounds, from 425.
That and subsequent commercials became a cornerstone of Subway’s positioning as a more healthful alternative to fried burgers and other fast-food staples.
The commercials also made Fogle a star in his own right. He became known as Jared the Subway Guy, and his eating habits were dubbed the Subway Diet.