Michael Oher has sued the Tuohy family for lying about his adoption after realizing the implications of the conservatorship with his parents. This development makes the depiction of his story in “The Blind Side” with Sandra Bullock and his rise to becoming a successful NFL player seem like a virtual lie.
Why is it happening now?
Michael Oher learned that he was not adopted in February 2023. It’s unclear why it took so long for Michael Oher to learn of this since the film was released in 2009.
Oher enlisted his lawyer to help him investigate details surrounding the film and the legal connection to his adoptive parents.
“His lawyer unearthed the conservatorship document in February, and Oher came to the painful realization that the Tuohys had not adopted him,” per ESPN.
The document in question allowed the Tuoy family to handle Oher’s financial affairs due to his alleged physical and physiological struggles.
Oher claims he was lied to about being adopted when instead he signed away his financial rights in a conservatorship.
What has the Tuoy family said about it?
“The Tuohys have since denied they kept the conservatorship a secret from Oher, [they] said they are ‘devastated’ by allegations that they profited handsomely from his story and have even claimed through their lawyer that he had demanded a $15 million payment from them …”, according to an article published by the New York Post.
The reason why they are devastated is because the Oher’s claim is not valid because everybody all parties profiting handsomely from the film.
The Tuoy family explained to Fortune the conservatorship was created to help with Oher’s admissions to Ole Miss, where he played college football before his NFL induction. They didn’t adopt Oher because of a timing issue, as family lawyer Randall Fishman says a “conservatorship was the fastest way to satisfy the NCAA’s concerns that the Tuohys weren’t simply steering a talented athlete to Ole Miss.”
Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian he was stunned by Oher’s allegations and claimed the Tuohys “didn’t make any money off the movie.” Rather, they profited off a share of proceeds from Michael Lewis’ book, which was the foundation for the film.
Sean Tuohy Jr. told Barstool Radio about how Oher knew about this situation in 2020 and 2021, but he made it public now because of Britney Spears’ issues with her own conservatorship.
“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.’ “-Sean Tuohy Jr.
Oher also claims he made little money from the film. Is this a reference to the royalties he acquired from the film? The father and son seem to contradict each other on the amount of money they made. Michael Oher’s claim contradicts his memoir.
A statement from Fishman, representing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, agrees with what Sean Touy Jr. told Barstool Radio about Oher previously admitting to awareness of the conservatorship.
Oher addressed his understanding of the conservatorship with the Tuoys in his 2011 memoir, “I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond.”
A quote from the book: “The Tuoys explained to Oher that it was the same thing as adoption, and he “… didn’t care what it was called. [He] was just happy that no one could argue that we weren’t legally what we already knew was real: We were a family.”
Both parties are at fault. The problem started when Oher agreed to the conservatorship with the Tuoys without knowing the details of the agreement. Oher should have read the fine print, but he didn’t due to the naivety and ignorance which comes with youth.
The Tuoys should have also distinguished the difference between a conservatorship and simple adoption and communicated that to Oher.
Would you want your finances to be handled by someone else unknowingly? The producers of the film have divulged how much money Michael Oher and the family have received from it, so is Oher just being greedy?
We’ll see how this ugly scenario plays out, but right now, neither Oher nor his adoptive family look like the saints they were once portrayed to be.
Edited by: James Sutton