‘The Blind Side’ real-life family saga takes another ugly turn with accusations of ‘extortion’

The inspirational story behind “The Blind Side” film took another dark twist as the Tuohy family alleged Michael Oher had attempted to extort them for millions.

“Think how it will look when it comes out.”

(Video: ABC)

Alleged threats to defame Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy as “fakes” and “thieves” were included in a Monday filing from the family as part of their ongoing battle with the former NFL offensive lineman following his claims to have been cheated out of profits from the film based on his life.

According to one of the messages said to have been sent to the Tuohys, who had their conservatorship of Oher terminated in September, the football player claimed he was “robbed of fifty million+” by the couple before adjusting the sum to $10 million.

“If something isn’t resolve [sic] this Friday, I’m going to go ahead and tell the world, how I was robbed by my suppose to be [sic] parents. That’s the deadline,” a screenshot of a message attributed to Oher said in the filing.

“It was 10 million now I want 15 after taxes,” another message stated in addition to allegations the player was alleged to have said, “Think how it will look when it comes out.”

“Needless to say, the menacing demands were shocking and hurtful to the Tuohys, who had always treated Mr. Oher with kindness and love,” an attorney for the Tuohys had stated in the filing.

In August, their attorney Steve Farese had said, “We’re not gonna be strong-armed. We haven’t done anything.

Based on their filing, the Tuohys asserted that the roughly $140,000 that Oher had received as profit for “The Blind Side” was identical to the sum each of the four family members had received as individuals.

The Tuohys repeatedly denied claims that they had significantly profited off of their arrangement as conservators of Oher. However, a Nov. 30 petition from the player claimed “Without Mr. Oher, there would have been no movie. The Tuohy had it backwards: 80% of the proceeds should have gone to Petitioner and 20% to the Tuohy family.”

Meanwhile, the family’s accounting of transferring the sums to Oher in ten installments dating back to 2007 noted that the last had been deposited on April 17, 2023, but that later sums had been sent to a bank account under Oher’s son’s name after he was said to have begun refusing the funds.

Oher had objected to the Tuohy’s accounting of how much money the family had earned from the film that had made over $300 million at the box office worldwide and asserted their filing was “contradictory, confusing, fake in material ways, and wholly inadequate to account for the assets.”

Additionally, as Oher claimed to have felt “chagrin and embarrassment” upon learning earlier this year that he had never been adopted by the Tuohys, the family continued to recognize him as their son despite the “vindictive and unfounded legal and reputational crusade against them.”

Kevin Haggerty


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