Former NFL tackle Michael Oher, who gained prominence as the inspiration for the movie "The Blind Side," has filed a petition accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of lying to him and taking advantage of him. Oher claims that they had him sign papers making them his conservators instead of his adoptive parents almost two decades ago.
In the petition filed in Tennessee probate court, Oher requests the termination of the conservatorship and a full accounting of the money earned from the use of his name and story. He also asks to be paid what he is due along with interest. Oher alleges that the Tuohys have enriched themselves by falsely representing themselves as his adoptive parents.
Oher, who has never been a fan of the movie about his life, also seeks sanctions against the Tuohys and compensatory and punitive damages. The Tuohys' lawyer stated that they will respond to the allegations in court but declined to comment further.
According to Oher's petition, he learned about the lie in February 2023, when he discovered that the conservatorship did not provide him with a familial relationship with the Tuohys as he had believed. Oher accuses the Tuohys of never taking legal action to assume custody of him before he turned 18.
Oher moved in with the Tuohys before his senior year of high school and was instructed to call them "Mom" and "Dad." He claims that he was encouraged to refer to the attorney who filed the conservatorship paperwork as "Aunt Debbie" Branan. Oher alleges that he was falsely advised that the paperwork was for a conservatorship when the intention was adoption.
The petition also states that a book based on Oher's life was released in 2006, and negotiations for movie rights were conducted by his conservators. Oher believes that he did not willingly or knowingly sign a contract granting the Tuohys a share of future proceeds.
Oher, who played in the NFL for eight seasons, was the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft. He won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens and started 110 games throughout his career.
The petition raises questions about Oher's assets and how they were used, considering the financial success of his life story. It also draws attention to the ongoing debate about conservatorships and the potential harm they can cause.
In conclusion, Oher's petition alleges that the Tuohys deceived him and profited at his expense. The case highlights the complexities of familial relationships, financial arrangements, and the impact of media portrayals.