Former NFL player Michael Oher’s story was told in The Blind Side — which depicted a wealthy family, the Tuohys, adopting him. Fourteen years later, Oher claims the Tuohys faked his adoption and stole his film royalties.
The Blind Side showed the adoption of Michael Oher by the Tuohys, leading him to play for the Baltimore Ravens. It became a Best Picture nominee at the 82nd Academy Awards, with Sandra Bullock delivering an acclaimed performance. Her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy earned her an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a SAG award. However, ESPN says the former offensive tackle petitioned on Monday that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him as told. Rather, the couple allegedly tricked Oher into signing a conservatorship document giving them authority over business matters in his name.
“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,” as the legal filing states. “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.”
Further allegations claim the Tuohys used the conservatorship to take Oher’s movie royalties. The Blind Side made over $300 million and the former Baltimore Ravens player apparently got nothing from it. Yet, the Tuohys and their two birth children reportedly profited to the tune of $225,000 and 2.5 percent of the film’s proceeds. Oher’s petition asks the court to end the Tuohys’ conservatorship, stop them from using his name and story, and receive a fair share of the profits.
What Do the Tuohys Have to Say About Michael Oher’s Petition?
Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian that he was shocked by Oher’s allegations. He claimed the family didn’t make a profit out of The Blind Side, but just a share of the proceeds from the book it was based on. “We’re devastated,” he said. “It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children. But we’re going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16.”
Steve Farese, the Tuohys’ attorney, declined to comment to ESPN. He said the family will file a legal response to the allegations in the coming weeks.