Two victims of Jared Fogle have told Newsweek that they no longer feel triggered by the sight of a Subway sandwich commercial.
Former Subway spokesperson Fogle is serving a 15-year sentence for various child sex offenses.
The details of Fogle’s crimes, and the fascinating story of how he was caught, is told in the new three-part discovery+ docuseries Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster. It airs on ID (Investigation Discovery) on Monday, March 6, and will stream on discovery+.
Two of Fogle’s victims, sisters Hannah Parrett and Christian Showalter, appear in the series, and the pair spoke to Newsweek.
Before and After Jared
For well over a decade, Fogle was synonymous with the fast-food chain Subway, filming more than 300 commercials in that time. ‘The Subway Guy’ was praised for his own personal weight-loss journey, and for his charity work performed under the Jared Foundation, which he founded.
Jared Fogle is the focus of the upcoming discovery+ docuseries “Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster.” Sisters Hannah Parrett (inset left) and Christian Showalter (inset right) contribute to the documentary and also spoke to Newsweek about their experiences. Discovery+
However, as we now know, behind the scenes, Fogle was involved with the distribution and receipt of child pornography. He was also convicted of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
It has been eight years since Fogle was charged, and Subway cut ties with him.
“Now, I don’t get as negatively affected by [seeing] those things as I did a few years ago,” Parrett told Newsweek, about how it felt to see Fogle’s name or a Subway commercial today. “Whenever I would hear Jared’s name, or for example, when the media was just flooded with news articles of our stepdad, Russell [Taylor] and Jared, and all these different things, that brought a lot of emotions a few years ago.”
The horrific details of who Russell Taylor is, and what happened to Parrett, 21, and her sister Showalter, 24, are explored within the three episodes of Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster. The sisters were never physically sexually abused by Fogle, but they do talk of a meeting with the Subway spokesperson where he said inappropriate things to the young girls in attendance.
Jared Fogle leaves the courthouse on August 19, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Fogle was part of a federal investigation that included a raid of his home in July 2015. Joey Foley/Getty Images
Taylor was executive director of the Jared Foundation, but he was arrested charges of child exploitation, possession of child pornography, and voyeurism in 2015. In the early 2010s, Taylor had hidden cameras in his stepdaughters’ rooms. He used coercive behavior to encourage Parrett and Showalter to partake in inappropriate activities. These were secretly documented and forwarded to Fogle.
Parrett and Showalter have since come to terms with what happened to them, after Fogle, Taylor, and later their own mother was convicted for their involvement.
“But now whenever I see those things, it just reminds me how far I’ve came,” Parrett said. “You know, I see those things, and I start thinking about our life before, and where I’m at now. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now, probably if it wasn’t for that situation. However, I don’t associate it with so many negative thoughts and feelings anymore.”
Sisters Hannah Parrett (left) and Christian Showalter (right) on “Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster.” The siblings spoke to Newsweek about their contribution to the discovery+ docuseries. Discovery+
“I think it became more of a reminder, rather than a trigger, over the years,” Showalter told Newsweek. “In the beginning, it was very triggering. It would put us into complete anxiety mode, stress. And, now, I’m just reminded that ‘wow, you really overcame that,’ and we continue to.”
FBI Investigation Into Jared Fogle
While victims of sexual assault crimes are entitled to remain anonymous, Parrett and Showalter never felt this was an option. Everyone in their hometown in Indianapolis knew their stepfather Taylor, and what he’d done.
“Back in 2015, when Russell and Jared were first arrested, we would get to school and we would literally overhear students and teachers talking about the things that they saw on the news, and they knew it was directly related to us.” Parrett said. “It almost felt like we were under a microscope, or maybe even more so that we were being judged, not for what we’d done, but they were judging the situation.”
Over the years, the sisters have come to terms with it and no longer feel as vulnerable out in public. “I don’t know if it’s because it’s been so long. Or maybe we’ve just dealt with that and healed that aspect of ourselves,” Parrett said, while Showalter added, “But we don’t feel like victims anymore.”
A large part of Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster focuses on the initial investigations into Fogle’s crimes. A local journalist started secretly recording him and became an informant for the FBI.
Incredibly unsettling conversations between Fogle and the undercover investigator Rochelle Herman-Walrond are heard in the docuseries. They include Fogle describing sexual activities he would like to do to, and has performed with, children.
Rochelle Herman-Walrond is pictured on “Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster.” She is a former journalist who worked with the FBI to convict Jared Fogle. Discovery+
Herman-Walrond’s personal investigation encountered a number of stumbling blocks along the way. However, Showalter and Parrett are both amazed by the work she did to take down Fogle.
“It just blows my mind, and it will forever blow my mind, how she was really the only one in our corner and she didn’t even know it,” Showalter said.
“She didn’t even know that we were being abused the whole time that she was trying to catch him. I wish I could hug her and just say, ‘You were there more for me than my own mom and my family at the time. And it means the world to us that someone also didn’t think it was OK.’
“I’m so grateful for her in so many ways, because it gives me hope that there’s people who actually are not OK with this behavior,” Showalter added.
All three parts of Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster premiere back to back, starting Monday, March 6 at 9 p.m. EST or 8 p.m. Central Time on ID (Investigation Discovery). They will be available to stream the same day on discovery+.