Oher accuses Tuohy family in filing

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Contrary to the narrative painted by the 2009 hit film “The Blind Side,” Michael Oher was never adopted by the wealthy Tuohy family. A recent Tennessee court filing accuses the family of exploiting Oher to enrich themselves.

This revelation comes from a petition Oher, 37, filed in Shelby County probate court. The documents accuse Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of misleading Oher into a conservatorship when he was a high schooler. This gave them the authority to make business deals in his name.

The same filing states that while “The Blind Side” movie, a tale of Oher’s journey from poverty to Super Bowl, grossed over $300 million, Oher didn’t receive any funds. Instead, the Tuohy family, including their biological children, allegedly profited, each receiving payments of $225,000 plus 2.5 percent of the film’s net proceeds.

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An alleged 2007 contract apparently granted 20th Century Fox Studios Oher’s story rights without compensation. Oher challenges this, claiming no memory of signing or being misled about its intent.

The former NFL offensive tackle, selected as the No. 23 overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, said he only discovered this alleged deception in 2023. He spent years believing he was part of the Tuohy family.

J. Gerard Stranch IV, Oher’s attorney, said, “discovering that he wasn’t actually adopted devastated Mike and wounded him deeply.”

The allegations don’t end with the film: The Tuohys allegedly leveraged Oher’s story to boost their foundation. Leigh Anne Tuohy still refers to Oher as her adopted son in her professional roles.

Further grievances include Oher’s portrayal in “The Blind Side” as “unintelligent.” Oher contends that he had significant football knowledge before the Tuohys and the film misrepresented his personality. “People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie,” Oher remarked.

Despite the turmoil, Oher remains committed to his own foundation, focusing on empowering disadvantaged youth.

The Tuohy family’s relationship with Oher reportedly began to strain approximately 18 months ago. In response to the accusations, Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian that the family is “devastated.” He denies profiting significantly from the movie, claiming all family members, including Oher, equally shared the earnings. On the topic of ending the conservatorship, Sean expressed willingness, stating, “whatever he wants, we’ll do.”

This case underscores the complexities and disparities that can occur from real life and its on-screen portrayal.