Earlier this week, we were hit with the bombshell that Michael Oher, the man whose story was depicted in the 2009 movie The Blind Side, was suing the family that brought him in, the Tuohys.
Oher, who was a star offensive lineman at Ole Miss and in the NFL, claimed that the Tuohys have been lying about saying they adopted him, and that they tricked him into signing a conservatorship where they could profit off his name, image, and likeness.
He said that the Tuohys profited a ton off the movie, while he didn’t receive anything. Oher’s complaint also noted that he found out about all of this back in February.
However, the father of the Tuohy family, Sean, refuted these claims, saying they weren’t legally allowed to adopt him because he was 18, and they agreed to a conservatorship so he could be eligible to play football at Ole Miss:
“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.’
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.”
Sean also said that they didn’t make much money from the movie, and stated that they split the money five ways, including to Oher.
Needless to say, the news has been a shot to the heart, because it’s one of the most heartwarming stories of the 21st century.
However, as far as the claims go that Oher found out about the conservatorship in February of this year, that appears to be false.
According to TMZ,Oher was aware that the Tuohys were conservators back in 2011, as he stated it in his own book, I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond.
In the book, he wrote:
“It kind of felt like a formality, as I’d been a part of the family for more than a year at that point. Since I was already over the age of eighteen and considered an adult by the state of Tennessee, Sean and Leigh Anne would be named as my ‘legal conservators.’
They explained to me that it means pretty much the exact same thing as ‘adoptive parents,’ but that the laws were just written in a way that took my age into account.
Honestly, I didn’t care what it was called. I was just happy that no one could argue that we weren’t legally what we already knew was real: We were a family.”
Interesting to say the least…
Honestly, it kind of sounds like Oher might be low on money (although he’s made over $30 million during his time in the NFL), and this was a last-ditch effort to try and scrounge up some cash from the VERY wealthy Tuohy family.
Sean Tuohy has called this a “shakedown,” and by Michael’s own words, it’s clear that he understood he was in a conservatorship and that there is at least one false claim in the lawsuit.
Now, whether he got any money from the movie is another story, and whether it was a significant amount is yet to be determined as well, however his case doesn’t sound like it’s off to a great start.
So, I guess we’ll see if this key piece of evidence plays a part in the judge’s decision.