Disgraced Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is actually suing the parents of one of his victims

Fogle is blaming the parents, not his child pornography scheme, for the teen's emotional distress

By Sophia Tesfaye
September 2, 2016 7:01PM (UTC)
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(AP/Michael Conroy)

Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle is now blaming the parents of an underage girl who was secretly filmed in his own child porn scheme.

Fogle, 39, was sentenced to nearly 16 years in a federal prison in November after he pleaded guilty to possession or distribution of child pornography and traveling across state lines to have commercial sex with a minor. Over the course of more than four years several minors were secretly video-taped undressing and bathing in the home of Fogle's business partner at the time, Russell Taylor. The images were then distributed to the former Subway spokesman. Taylor, formerly the head of Fogle's charitable foundation focused on children, was sentenced to 27 years in prison in December.


Fogle pleaded guilty last year to viewing the tapes and as part of his plea deal paid $100,000 to each of his 14 victims.

Last March, the parents of one of the underage girls filed a lawsuit against Fogle, asking for $150,000 in damages for emotional distress. The parents are not named in the court documents, and the victim is referred to only by the pseudonym “Jane Doe.”

Lawyers for the jailed former Subway pitchman argued that the girl's parents — not Fogle — are the source of her distress. Fogle’s motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis also argued that the parents may be responsible for the girl’s injuries alleged in a civil lawsuit against him.


Fogle blamed the parents’ divorce, describing it as acrimonious, for the girl's distress. “Custody and parenting time (agreements),” Fogle's motion argued, “required Jane Doe to constantly rotate her living arrangements caused unnecessary stress, anxiety, and trauma for Jane Doe.”

The convicted pedophile said in a complaint the parents were responsible for his victim’s substance abuse and suicidal ideations because of their "hateful and abusive relationship toward each other, which included, but was not limited to, engaging in frequent fighting and arguing between themselves; abusing alcohol and getting drunk; and engaging in frequent fighting, physical abuse, and arguing with Jane Doe."

Ronald Ellberger, an Indianapolis-based lawyer listed for Fogle, did not return a request for comment.


Subway fired Fogle in 2015 when the child sex abuse accusations came to light.

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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