In a surprising turn of events, Michael Oher, the central figure in the heartwarming story portrayed in “The Blind Side,” has lodged a series of startling allegations against his purported adoptive parents, Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Tuohy. The bombshell was unveiled through a petition filed by Oher in Tennessee, seeking the dissolution of a conservatorship that has overseen his life since 2004. Among the allegations is the assertion that the Tuohys did not adopt him, as portrayed in the film, but rather saw him as a means to exploit his athletic talent for their own benefit.
According to Oher’s petition, the Tuohys maintained a conservatorship over him, allegedly controlling his name, image, and likeness. This arrangement purportedly restricted Oher’s ability to enter contracts without their approval, and he claimed that the Tuohys even sold his life rights to 20th Century Fox without compensating him.
Key to Oher’s allegations is the assertion that the Tuohy family significantly profited from “The Blind Side.” The petition alleges that a deal struck with the film’s producers granted Sean and Leigh Anne a one-time payment of $225,000 each, in addition to 2.5% of the movie’s defined net proceeds, which translated to millions for the family.
Oher’s petition challenges the narrative presented in both the movie and the book, “The Blind Side,” authored by Michael Lewis, which have garnered immense popularity. The film, which earned Sandra Bullock an Academy Award, depicts Oher’s life journey under the care of the Tuohy family.
In response to Oher’s allegations, Sean Tuohy addressed the claims in an interview with the Daily Memphian. He emphasized that his family was “devastated” by the allegations and clarified that the family did not make substantial profits from the film. According to Sean Tuohy, the entire family, including Oher, received an equal share of approximately $14,000.
Moreover, Sean Tuohy sought to explain why a conservatorship was established instead of adoption. He cited legal advice that indicated adoption was not possible after the age of 18. He also stressed that the conservatorship was put in place to comply with NCAA rules, as Sean Tuohy was a booster at the University of Mississippi, and Oher’s admission required a formal connection.
Michael Oher’s NFL career, spanning from 2009 to 2017, earned him over $30 million, and the petition does not seem to suggest that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy benefited from his NFL earnings. While these allegations have cast a shadow over the heartwarming narrative presented in “The Blind Side,” the ongoing legal proceedings are likely to provide further clarity to the intricate dynamics at play within Oher’s life story.