What Did Jared Fogle Do Before The Subway Ads? The Now-Disgraced Campaign Star Was Once Just A College Student
Jared Fogle, known to most as "the Subway guy," is expected to plead guilty to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography and crossing state borders to pay for sex with minors as part of a plea deal filed in federal court Wednesday. The court still has to approve the plea, but it would guarantee that Fogle, who's now 37, spends between five and 12 and a half years in prison. Fogle will also have to pay $100,000 in restitution to 14 victims either photographed in the pornography he had or who were paid for sex — money that's intended to go toward counseling and other support. Fogle has been in the spotlight since his first regional Subway ad aired in 2000, and more recently in connection with his child pornography charges, but who was he before the ads?
Fifteen years ago, Fogle lost more than 200 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches and walking, which led to him starring in hundreds of commercials for the company. In 2013, he had an estimated net worth of $15 million, according to The New York Daily News, because of his Subway career. In fact, besides starting the nonprofit Jared Foundation, which raises awareness about childhood obesity, Fogle has never had an adult job other than representing Subway.
The Subway star incorporated his Jewish heritage into his career and helped open a kosher Subway restaurant in Cleveland's Jewish Community Center in 2006. Although he grew up in Indiana, he had his bar mitzvah during a trip to Israel, and was confirmed at his Conservative-Reconstructionist synagogue.
Fogle began his Subway diet as a junior at Indiana University, where he was a business major. "I thought maybe I’d work for an ad agency or a PR firm," he told The Daily News. He never imagined he would be the subject of a nationwide ad campaign.
As a 425-pound college student, Fogle avoided social events and spent a lot of time eating alone. He told The Daily News: "I knew you were supposed to go on dates and go to parties, but because I was so big, I just took myself out of the equation. I didn’t want to allow myself to be made fun of." Outside of his social life, Fogle's weight still had a major affect on his life, even limiting where he could go and what chairs he would fit in. "Chairs would bend when I'd sit in them," he told USA Today. He decided to make a lifestyle change after falling asleep at the wheel because his extreme sleep apnea had kept him all night. He told USA Today: "Deep inside, I always knew that I would change my life."