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'Blind Side' Subject Oher Alleges Tuohys Made Millions Off Lie


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Retired NFL star Michael Oher, whose supposed adoption out of grinding poverty by a wealthy, white family was immortalized in the 2009 movie "The Blind Side," petitioned a Tennessee court Monday with allegations that a central element of the story was a lie concocted by the family to enrich itself at his expense.


The 14-page petition, filed in Shelby County, Tennessee, probate court, alleges that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, who took Oher into their home as a high school student, never adopted him. Instead, less than three months after Oher turned 18 in 2004, the petition says, the couple tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name.



The petition further alleges that the Tuohys used their power as conservators to strike a deal that paid them and their two birth children millions of dollars in royalties from an Oscar-winning film that earned more than $300 million, while Oher got nothing for a story "that would not have existed without him." In the years since, the Tuohys have continued calling the 37-year-old Oher their adopted son and have used that assertion to promote their foundation as well as Leigh Anne Tuohy's work as an author and motivational speaker.


"The lie of Michael's adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher," the legal filing says. "Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February of 2023, when he learned that the Conservatorship to which he consented on the basis that doing so would make him a member of the Tuohy family, in fact provided him no familial relationship with the Tuohys."


The Tuohy family did not immediately return phone calls Monday to numbers listed for them. Their attorney, Steve Farese, declined comment to ESPN on Monday, saying the family would file a legal response to the allegations in the coming weeks.



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But Tuohy family patriarch Sean Tuohy — who was portrayed by Tim McGraw in the blockbuster hit — said Monday that Oher's allegations aren't true. 

"We didn't make any money off the movie," he told the Daily Memphian. "Well, Michael Lewis [the author of the book that inspired the movie] gave us half of his share.

Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each." 




Sean Tuohy said that he learned about Oher's allegations when his friend sent him an article about it. The conservatorship in question, he said, had nothing to do with the movie but was meant to help Oher as he got recruited to play at Ole Miss, where Sean Tuohy had played football as well and was an active booster. 


"They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family," Tuohy said, adding that because Oher was 18 at the time, the conservatorship was a way to make that happen legally since he was too old to be legally adopted. "...We contacted lawyers who had told us that we couldn't adopt over the age of 18; the only thing we could do was to have a conservatorship. We were so concerned it was on the up-and-up that we made sure the biological mother came to court."


If Oher wants to end the conservatorship now, Tuohy said that he would "of course" be willing to end it. He also said that there has been a growing distance between Oher and the family over the past year and a half. 


"We're devastated. It's upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children," he told the local outlet. "But we're going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16."


It's crazy if they sold the story and only made $14k a piece.


I've also read the Touhys have a net worth of $50-75 million from owning tons of fast food chain restaurants and selling them. They're going to hide some movie money from Oher?


Something isn't adding up. It smells like some other family beef is going on and it escalated to this.

Edited by BrooksBurner
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