Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Fogle makes it worse

Fogle makes it worse

When it comes to falls from grace, perhaps no one fell harder and faster than former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. Fogle made a huge name for himself with an enormous weight loss he attributed to healthy exercise and a diet that consisted of mostly Subway sandwiches. The story was a goldmine for the sub chain, who made Fogle its most recognized spokesman for over a decade.

Then came allegations that shocked the country and millions of people who, no matter how they felt about Subway, loved Fogle’s story. But they hated the new version. The chapter in which he and a colleague were caught with huge numbers of child porn on their computers, and the depositions in which Fogle admitted to sleeping with underage kids. The allegations disgusted Fogle’s fans, and when they learned they were true, his reputation was destroyed. Now Fogle, who should be doing all in his power to regain at least a modicum of anonymity, is making it worse. According to a court filing, Fogle is claiming his victims’ parents are just as responsible for their child’s anguish as Fogle himself. At least that’s the legal counter-argument being tried in a civil suit brought by one of Fogle’s victims.

The victim claims she suffered emotional distress because she was unknowingly photographed nude as a child. The pictures were taken by Russell Taylor, who was Fogle’s co-defendant. Fogle “received and distributed” those photos, leading to what the victim described as “severe, traumatic and permanent injuries and mental anguish”. The actual verbiage in Fogle’s motion asks that the victim’s parents be listed as co-defendants in the case as well because they “maintained a hateful and abusive relationship toward each other…causing (the victim) to suffer from emotional distress, anxiety and depression before she learned of any allegations involving Fogle and Taylor…”

Whether or not the language of that counter-argument has any merit whatsoever will not matter to the general public, who will only understand Fogle is trying to rope the parents in on his crimes. This message will do nothing to help Fogle, nor should it.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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