Former ‘Blindside’ NFL Player Blindsided by So-Called Parents
Former NFL player Michael Oher, who was the inspiration for the 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” has filed a petition in a Tennessee court alleging that he was never legally adopted by the Tuohy family.
Oher, who is now 37 years old, claims that he was tricked into signing conservatorship documents in 2004 by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. He alleges that the Tuohys told him that the conservatorship was “for all intents and purposes, an adoption,” but that he was never actually adopted.
Oher also alleges that the Tuohys have financially benefited from his story and likeness, without properly compensating him. He is seeking to have the conservatorship terminated and to be awarded damages.
“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,” the former offensive tackle wrote in the petition. “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.”
“Since at least August of 2004, Conservators have allowed Michael, specifically, and the public, generally, to believe that Conservators adopted Michael and have used that untruth to gain financial advantages for themselves and the foundations which they own or which they exercise control,” the petition says, according to ESPN. “All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher.”
The Tuohys have denied Oher’s allegations, saying that they “love and support” him like a son. They have also said that they have never profited from Oher’s story or likeness.
Sean Touhy told the Daily Memphian that the family “didn’t make any money off the movie” but did make money from the book it was based on, written by Michael Lewis.
“We’re devastated,” Sean told the outlet. “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.”
The case is currently pending in a Tennessee court.
This is going to piss you off.
The 2009 movie, "The Blind Side” — a feel good film about a wealthy, white football loving family who adopted Michael Oher, a poor Black rising football star, was largely based on a false premise.
Turns out the adoption was a lie, concocted by the… pic.twitter.com/57Vpmp2tNO
— Christopher Webb (@cwebbonline) August 15, 2023