The sandwich chain Subway announced it had “mutually agreed” to suspend its relationship with long-time spokesman Jared Fogle, hours after investigators raided his Indiana home Tuesday morning.
Fogle, who for more than a decade starred in television commercials for the company, was not arrested or charged with any crime, his attorney said. Earlier in the day, as media reports showed authorities interviewing Fogle and removing electronic equipment from his home in Zionsville, Subway said it was “shocked about the news.”
The company added that it believed the investigation was related to the arrest of a former employee of Fogle’s foundation. This spring, Russell Taylor, then the executive director of Fogle’s charity, was arrested after investigators found more than 400 child pornography videos at his home.
“Subway and Jared Fogle have mutually agreed to suspend their relationship due to the current investigation,” a Subway spokesman said in a statement late Tuesday. “Jared continues to cooperate with authorities and he expects no actions to be forthcoming. Both Jared and Subway agree that this was the appropriate step to take.”
Fogle’s attorney, Ron Elberger, said in an e-mailed statement to the Post that “Jared has been cooperating, and continues to cooperate, with law enforcement in their investigation of unspecified charges. He has not been detained, arrested or charged with any crime or offense.”
First starring in Subway ads in 2000, Fogle quickly became the chain’s most notable face, using the story of his “Subway diet” to help portray the deli chain as a healthy alternative to its fast-food competitors.
National tours and marketing campaigns featuring Fogle, often holding up an old pair of wide-set blue jeans, ran through the 2000s, helping the Milford, Conn.-based sandwich shop become the world’s biggest restaurant chain, with more than 44,000 franchises across 110 countries.
Special agent Wendy Osborne, an FBI spokeswoman for the Indianapolis field office, confirmed Tuesday that there was activity being conducted in the Zionsville area — a suburb of Indianapolis — by the FBI and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, but said she could not disclose the nature of the investigation.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of Indiana said in an e-mail that he could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. A telephone number listed for Fogle in Zionsville rang unanswered Tuesday.
Tuesday’s actions followed the arrest of Taylor, former executive director of Fogle’s charity, which is focused on combating childhood obesity.
Federal and state investigators believe Taylor was filming minors in his home, including “inside the bathrooms or bedrooms of Taylor’s current and former Indianapolis residences,” the statement noted. The sexually explicit material was allegedly produced between 2012 and 2015.
Taylor was charged with seven federal counts of production of child pornography and one possession charge, according to an announcement by the U.S. attorney’s office in May. He later attempted suicide while in jail, the Indianapolis Star has reported.
In a statement released to local media shortly after Taylor’s arrest, Fogle said he was “shocked to learn of the allegations against Mr. Taylor.”
“Effective immediately, the Jared Foundation is severing all ties with Mr. Taylor,” Fogle said in the statement.
The Indianapolis Star was one of the first to report that an evidence truck was outside Fogle’s home in Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis, on Tuesday.
Investigators from the FBI, Indiana State Police and Postal Service arrived before sunrise and were seen removing electronics, documents and other items and loading them into an evidence truck parked in the driveway.
In the early hours of the probe, Fogle was seen leaving the evidence truck.
Reporters standing in the rain, looking at a house pic.twitter.com/WiRKF0xZ9r
— Madeline Buckley (@Mabuckley88) July 7, 2015
Drew Harwell contributed to this report.
[This post has been updated.]