Former NFL player Michael Oher, whose life inspired the movie “The Blind Side,” has filed a petition in a Tennessee court alleging that a key part of the story was fabricated by the family who took him in.
Oher claims that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, who welcomed him into their home during high school, never officially adopted him. Instead, they allegedly had him sign a document granting them control over his affairs when he turned 18. This gave them the ability to make business decisions on his behalf.
The petition asserts that the Tuohys used their control to secure a deal that earned them and their biological children substantial royalties from the successful film adaptation, which made over $300 million. Oher received no compensation despite his central role in the story.
The Tuohys continued to refer to Oher as their adopted son, utilizing this claim to promote their foundation and Leigh Anne Tuohy’s work as an author and speaker.
The petition seeks to end the conservatorship, prevent the Tuohys from using Oher’s name and image, and demand a fair share of profits. Oher’s allegations also include seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
The dispute revolves around whether Oher was adopted or placed under conservatorship. Adoption would have granted Oher legal family membership and control over his finances. Conservatorship, which Oher signed as a high school senior, gave the Tuohys financial control.
The petition suggests that the Tuohys began negotiating a movie deal after the success of the book detailing their story. While the family reportedly received substantial payments from the movie, Oher allegedly signed a contract with 20th Century Fox studios that granted rights to his story for no compensation.
These allegations have stirred controversy, with the Tuohys expressing shock and their attorney indicating a forthcoming legal response.