Last month, law enforcement officials raided the house of Jared Fogle, the ordinary guy who famously lost more than 200 pounds by eating at Subway and subsequently put the "toast" in "milquetoast" by serving as an almost impossibly bland sandwich spokesman for 15 years. His relationship with the chain was suspended following the raid, and at the time, it was widely speculated that the search had something to do with Russell Taylor, the former head of Fogle's charity organization for kids. Taylor was arrested in April after allegedly producing more than 500 child porn videos inside his homes.
Over the weekend, Business Insider reported details of a text message exchange that allegedly took place between Fogle and a former Subway franchise store owner in which the spokesman appears to brag about a sexual encounter with a 16-year-old girl, which he describes as "awesome!!!!" The story comes on the heels of an accusation by a woman in Florida who was allegedly told by him multiple times that "Middle school girls are hot."
So while no one has officially charged Fogle with a crime, the guy has experienced a spectacular fall from grace in a country that loves gawking at people who used to be fat almost as much as it adores cheap food.
According to Business Insider, which obtained an affidavit the outlet says has been subpoenaed by the FBI, Fogle was very interested in meeting up with the Subway franchisee's underage cousin back in 2008. "Any more news with your cousin?" he allegedly asked the woman in a text. "Tell me what u think about when u think of the three of us all together???" Apparently these questions persisted, and Fogle even suggested to the woman that she market herself on Craigslist.
"Is this the same website you found that 16 year old girl you that you fucked?" the woman responded [sic]. "I still can't believe you only paid $100 for her."
At some point, the woman is said to have grown so uncomfortable with Fogle's alleged perversions that she hired a lawyer, who spoke to Business Insider. Strangely, the reason she sought counsel supposedly had nothing to do with the fact that Fogle was soliciting teens from the internet and bragging about it; instead, she was concerned that the conversation was violating her franchiser-franchisee contract with Subway. Business Insider was apparently able to obtain the text messages because they were included in an affidavit related to that case.
While it's possible that Fogle was talking about fantasies he had no intention of turning into reality, he did seem to keep some unsavory company. Taylor, the former director of the Jared Foundation—which aimed to reduce childhood obesity—is charged with seven counts of producing child pornography and one count of possession. According to a federal complaint, he was in the business of filming family members and others who stayed at his homes in various states of undress.
Meanwhile, both stories—or at least how they came to light—are eerily similar. A woman turned over text messages with Taylor after he tried to have sex with a horse she had on her property and hinted that he'd traveled to Thailand for sex with young girls in the past. Then came a raid, which uncovered droves of illegal images. As of right now, it's unclear what the FBI found, if anything, when they poked around Fogle's house in Indiana.
But even if the answer is nothing, his career is in tatters (though his reputed wealth means he isn't exactly facing dire straits financially). Almost immediately after Fogle's house was raided, Subway started scrubbing his name and image from its website. And on Saturday, a post was added to the sandwich chain's Facebook page that reads: "About the most recent news story on Jared Fogle, this allegation, if true, is appalling and is contrary to the values of our brand. As previously stated, we have suspended our relationship with Jared."
Fans of five-dollar sandwiches don't seem phased by the news, and life will certainly go on for the chain post-Jared. In fact, Subway's statement on Facebook is currently serving as venue for people to state the name of their favorite subs and attempt to speak to the chain as if it were a sentient human being.
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