The family that was the focal point in “The Blind Side” film claims they are devastated by a bombshell lawsuit filed by ex-NFL player Michael Oher who alleges they never adopted him and cheated him out of a fortune.
(Video Credit: NBC News)
The family responded on Monday calling Oher’s allegations “insulting” and hurtful according to the New York Post.
Oher is 37 years old now and has finished an 8-year successful NFL career. He was taken in by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy when he was a teen.
He claims he thought he was adopted but never was. The football star says that instead he was tricked into signing a conservatorship at 18 that should have expired at 25 but never did. He goes on to claim that it allowed his adoptive family to rake in millions on the movie about his life and he never saw any of that money.
The subject of the hit 2009 film “The Blind Side” filed his lawsuit in Shelby County, Tennessee on Monday.
(Video Credit: Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers)
The father, Sean Tuohy, gave an interview to the Daily Memphian, clapping back at the allegations. He asserts that the conservatorship was initiated to ensure that Oher was eligible to play football at the University of Mississippi.
Tuohy is a booster at the university. He claims that if Oher wasn’t actually a part of the family, there might have been potential NCAA issues sending him there.
“I sat Michael down and told him, ‘If you’re planning to go to Ole Miss — or even considering Ole Miss — we think you have to be part of the family. This would do that legally,’” Tuohy stated.
“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,” he told the Daily Memphian.
The father also contested the claim that the family massively profited from the film.
“We didn’t make any money off the movie,” Touhy claimed. “Well, Michael Lewis, the [author of the book on which the movie was based] gave us half of his share. Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each.”
Last week, Michael Oher discussed with me why the portrayal of his life in “The Blind Side” movie was inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/SES33vH8s8
— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) August 14, 2023
The family also owned a chain of fast-food franchises worth about $200 million which they sold. The father is offended that Oher is claiming that they profited off him.
“I will say it’s upsetting that people would think I would want to make money off any of my children,” Sean Tuohy commented.
He also asserted that the family had remained close with Oher through much of his NFL career. About a year and a half ago, he became increasingly distant.
“No question, the allegations are insulting,” Tuohy remarked regarding the lawsuit to the Daily Memphian. “But, look, it’s a crazy world. You’ve got to live in it. It’s obviously upset everybody.”
Sean Tuohy Jr. also gave his side of the story during an interview with Barstool Radio on Monday.
“I’m gonna preface this by saying that I love Mike at 16, I love Mike at 37, and I [will] love him at 67,” Tuohy Jr. stated. “There’s not gonna be any dossier or thing that happens that is going to make me say, ‘Screw that guy.’ That’s not the case.”
(Video Credit: Barstool Sports)
But he vehemently contested the idea that Oher just learned about the conservatorship in February of 2023.
“If he says he found out in February, I find that hard to believe,” he stated. “I went through my family group texts today to see what had been said. There were things in like 2020 or 2021 that said, ‘If you guys give me this much, then I won’t go public with things.’”
“I think everybody learned about conservatorships in the past year because of Britney Spears, so maybe that’s the case,” Tuohy Jr. charged.
Tuohy Jr. noted Oher’s frustration over not getting paid more for the movie. But he pointed out that he didn’t make a lot of money off the movie either. He estimated that he received somewhere between $60,000 to $70,000 in royalties over the years.
“You’re not gonna hear me talk bad about him because I truthfully think very highly of everything [about his NFL career and how he has raised a family],” Tuohy Jr. said referring to Oher.
This is a Wild story: Former NFL player Michael Oher, the subject of the ‘Blind Side’ movie with Sandra Bullock has claims that a central element of the story was a lie concocted by the family to enrich themselves at his expense.
He alleges that Sean and Leigh Tuohy never… pic.twitter.com/kI3zfnLPQh
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 14, 2023
He claimed he has “great memories” of Oher. The NFL star bought him his first car and he went to college in Baltimore to be near Oher while he was playing for the Ravens.
Oher’s lawsuit claims that he has no “familial” status with the Tuohys in the conservatorship.
“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 alleges.
“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 suit states.
“The Blind Side” was released in 2009, months after the Ravens drafted Oher with the 23rd overall pick. Starring Quinton Aaron as Oher, the film grossed over $309 million at the box office and was universally lauded for Sandra Bullock’s performance as Tuohy family matriarch Leigh Anne. Bullock won a Golden Globe Award for her depiction and the film was also nominated for Best Picture at the following year’s Academy Awards but lost out to “The Hurt Locker.”
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