Michael Oher, whose life was portrayed in the 2009 movie, claims in a lawsuit that the family who took him in never truly adopted him and that he was duped into giving up his right to make decisions when he was 18 years old.
Michael Oher, a former NFL player whose rise from poverty to fame in football was depicted in the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” asked a Tennessee court on Monday to His legal link with the family that took him in must be officially ended. He claimed he had never been adopted and had been duped into signing away his decision-making powers so the family could profit from his life story by millions of dollars.
The 37-year-old Michael Oher is asking for the conservatorship that was put in place when he was 18 to be ended, as well as the money he claims he should have received from the movie and an injunction barring Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy from exploiting his name and likeness.
The petition, which was submitted in Shelby County, Tennessee, alleges that the Tuohys pressured him into signing a conservatorship that forbade him from making contracts when he believed he was being adopted. The lawsuit also asserts that Michael Oher, who began residing with the Tuohys at the age of 16, mistakenly granted 20th Century Fox the rights to his life story in 2007.
J. Gerard Stranch IV, Michael Oher’s attorney, declined to comment further than what was contained in the case.
The Tuohys allegedly signed a deal for $225,000 plus 2.5 percent of future “defined net proceeds” for themselves and their biological children for “The Blind Side,” the well-known movie starring Leigh Anne Tuohy is portrayed by Sandra Bullock, Sean Tuohy by Tim McGraw, and Michael Oher by Quinton Aaron.
The New York Times contacted the Tuohy family for comment, but they did not respond right away. Sean Tuohy claimed he was “devastated” to learn of the lawsuit in an interview with The Daily Memphian on Monday. He also said it was “upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children.” Tuohy stated that he would be willing to dissolve the conservatorship and that Michael Oher received an equal part of the movie’s earnings, or about $14,000.
The conservatorship, according to Sean Tuohy, was created to enable Michael Oher to perform at the University of Mississippi, where he and his wife both studied.
Sean Tuohy Jr., the son of Leigh Anne and Sean, stated that he earned “60, 70 grand over the course of the last four, five years” from the movie in an interview with Barstool Sports on Monday.
A conservatorship in Tennessee is described as a situation in which a court transfers some “decision-making powers and duties” from “a person with a disability who lacks capacity to make to a conservator or co-conservators, “decisions in one or more significant areas.”. Oher looked to have “no known physical or psychological disabilities,” according to the 2004 decision that awarded the Tuohys conservatorship over Michael Oher.
According to the petition, Michael Oher did not discover that he had not been formally adopted until February of this year. The lawsuit claims that Oher consented to the conservatorship because she believed it to be a necessary step in the adoption procedure.
Oher was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the number 23 overall choice in the 2009 NFL Draft.. He played eight NFL seasons as an offensive tackle for the Ravens, Tennessee Titans, and Carolina Panthers. Oher retired from sports in 2017. In 2013, he and the Ravens captured the Super Bowl.
At Mississippi, where he played college football from 2005 to 2009, he won two first-team Southeastern Conference awards in 2007 and 2008 and was selected a unanimous first-team all-American in that same year.
In the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” which was based on a book by Michael Lewis from 2006, Oher is portrayed as a struggling adolescent who grew up in Memphis and took care of his cocaine-dependent mother. In the film, Oher is portrayed as a naturally gifted basketball and football player who is discovered by a coach at a nearby private school and ultimately accepted. Before moving in with the family and receiving a scholarship to Mississippi, Oher gets to know Sean Tuohy Jr.
Oher, though, seems uneasy about how he was portrayed in the film and what it meant for his professional standing. Oher said that the film had made him appear less clever than he actually was and had affected how people perceived him in the sport in an interview from 2015 when he was a member of the Panthers.
Oher alleged that “people look at me and they take things away from me because of a movie.” They don’t truly understand my abilities or the type of player I am. I frequently receive ratings downgrades as a result of something off the field.