Hannah Parrett and Christian Showalter had no idea that Jared Fogle was “a bad guy” until after his arrest.
The women are the stepdaughters of Russell Taylor, the former executive of the disgraced Subway sandwich spokesman’s charity. Both men were convicted of sex crimes involving the sisters.
“I think it was after the arrest when I started becoming more educated on sexual abuse, child pornography, pedophilia,” Parrett told Fox News Digital. “That is when I started to view Jared as a monster — he’s a monster. We were manipulated into believing that things were normal. Even up until the point when they got arrested, we didn’t understand what was happening.”
For the first time, the siblings are speaking out about Fogle in a three-part docuseries premiering Monday night titled “Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster.”
Fogle, a former family friend, was a pitchman for the fast-food franchise after shedding more than 200 pounds as a college student, in part, by eating the chain’s sandwiches. The 45-year-old was sentenced in 2015 to more than 15 years in federal prison for possession or distribution of child pornography and traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor.
The docuseries features never-before-heard interviews with investigators and whistleblowers who detailed how they took down the child predator who lurked behind a charming persona. Fogle declined to be interviewed for the series. A spokesperson for Subway didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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“For a long time, Christian and I were silenced not only by our mom but by other family members who were too worried about what other people would think,” Parrett explained. “We wanted to bring light to a situation like this. A huge motivator for me to speak out was to bring all of this to the surface and give other survivors trying to find their own voices the strength and courage to speak up. And helping other people helps me heal. The more I tell my story, the more healed I become.”
The siblings met Fogle sometime in 2011 through Taylor, who was married to their mother Angela Baldwin. At the time, the women were in their early teens.
“My initial impression of Jared was he was a cool person,” Showalter recalled. “He was a celebrity. I’m from a very small town, so meeting someone like that, who was also Russell’s best friend, was just very cool — that’s the only way I could say it. It was just very neat knowing somebody of that popularity.”
“Jared was the puppet master,” Parrett chimed. “And Russell was the puppet. And of course, to string that down the line, Christian and I also became puppets. You had the puppet master controlling this puppet who also had two other little puppets that are being controlled. Jared was the head honcho of this whole situation.”
Taylor was the executive director of the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit that Fogle started to raise awareness and money to fight childhood obesity. According to the siblings, Taylor and Fogle would text each other about them and their friends.
“Russell sent Jared a photo of one of my best friends,” said Showalter. “Jared was asking, ‘Who is that? What’s her name?’ They started making comments about her physique — sexual comments. Russell showed me these texts and said, ‘Jared is interested in your friend.’ And even before this, Russell would make jokes, or at least I thought they were jokes, about our bodies and the way we looked. When I heard and saw those text messages, that’s when I had a moment where I realized, ‘Maybe this is serious. Maybe they aren’t joking.’”
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Showalter said she reached out to her mother. However, she said the matriarch scoffed at her concerns, insisting the men were only joking.
“She would say, ‘That’s just their humor,” said Showalter. “She downplayed the situation. Russell wanted me to tell my friend about it, and I did. And her reaction — she was just dumbfounded. She was like, ‘What do you mean? What are you talking about?’ And honestly, seeing her reaction is what really sunk in for me. Like, this is not normal.”
It was in 2014 when an investigation into Fogle, Taylor and Baldwin was launched. An acquaintance reached out to Indiana State Police stating Taylor had offered to send child pornography. In 2015, federal authorities raided Fogle, Taylor and Baldwin’s homes in Indiana.
At the time, the restaurant chain expressed shock and concern over the raid.
According to prosecutors, the couple shared with Fogle videos and photos of minors that were captured by hidden cameras Taylor installed in their home. Police also found child sexual abuse material in the property. The victims were ages 9 to 16 when the crimes occurred. Parrett and Showalter identified themselves as two of those minors. Taylor and Baldwin had also distributed images to others.
“When Russell was arrested, I was just really confused,” said Parrett. “I didn’t understand what was going on. Our mother told me that Russell was arrested, but she wouldn’t tell me why. She made me look it up on the internet. I was so confused because I was so young. I couldn’t fathom what child pornography was.”
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Showalter said she struggled to realize that she was secretly recorded at home.
“… We didn’t know about the cameras,” she said.
Parrett said the revelation eventually led her down a dark path.
“I am a recovering drug addict,” she admitted. “For a very long time, I was engaging in risky sexual behavior. I was engaging in the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol. The whole situation had a negative effect on me. I started spiraling into nowhere really fast. I started getting in trouble. It wasn’t until I lost my dad [in 2021] that I wanted to make a change. I wanted to be better, not only for myself but for my family… I participated in a lot of recovery meetings and self-help meetings in my town. And it has helped me so much. Every time I speak up about it, it’s another chain broken off from my past.”
“I think the only way we dealt with this was not letting go of each other,” Showalter explained. “I leaned on [my sister]… I wished I would’ve been more aware of what was happening where I could have maybe saved us. I know it’s not our fault, but it was really difficult dealing with that… we can only protect each other so much. We [were] completely exposed. Our wound was open. People were putting salt, vinegar and alcohol all on top of it, and it’s burning, it’s on fire. But I knew the healing process would happen, and the wound would eventually close. I think it’s starting to get there.”
In 2021, Taylor pleaded guilty to 24 counts of producing child sexual abuse material. He was sentenced in 2022 to 27 years in prison. Baldwin was convicted of two counts of production of child sexual abuse material, and one count of conspiracy to produce child sexual abuse material, and one count of possession of child sexual abuse material. She was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
The sisters have not spoken to their mother.
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“My mom has never admitted that she had any fault in the situation,” said Parrett. “She still, even to this day, acts as if she was a victim and tries to paint the picture that she was coerced into doing the things that she did. However, the evidence shows that she initiated some, if not most, of the events that took place. I think she is extremely manipulative. She silenced us for a long time because I think deep down, she knew her role… She’s just sorry she got caught.”
“If she really loved her children, if she really loved us, if she had any kind of apologetic bone in her body… she would not have put us through trial,” Parrett added.
Today, the women say they “love life” and no longer feel as if they’re “living in the dark.”
“I let my trauma define who I was,” said Parrett. “And that’s not a way to live. I let it dictate my decisions, and it completely changed my behavior, my personality, my everything in between. I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I’m sober. I’m clean now. And it’s freeing.”
The women stressed that their story is a warning to others — this can happen to anyone.
“This is not just about celebrities,” said Showalter. “It’s not just Jared Fogle. It’s not just Jeffrey Epstein. These are not just people in Hollywood. These are your aunts, uncles, fathers, mothers, siblings, friends, neighbors. These are everyday people who are… exploiting young children. And if you had asked me then, I wouldn’t have known this was happening. I was just sleepwalking through life. But today, I am awake and aware.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
“Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster’ premieres Monday, March 6 at 9 p.m. on ID. The Associated Press contributed to this report.