Ex-NFL star Michael Oher has claimed in a lawsuit that the adoption story was behind it The blind side The film was a lie and the Tuohy family made millions from his name.
A petition filed with probate court in Shelby County, Tennessee, alleges that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a white couple who brought 18-year-old Oher into their home as a high school student, never actually adopted him.
Instead, the athlete’s lawyers say they got him to sign a document three months after his 18th birthday in 2004 that made them his conservators and allowed them to do business on his behalf.
According to court records, the couple used their position as restorers to agree to a deal that would allow them and their two biological children to pay for the Oscar-winning film, which starred Sandra Bullock and grossed more than $300 million .
Oher claims in the petition that he did nothing for the inspirational story “which would not have existed without him” and that the family continued to call him their adopted son to further their foundation and Ms. Tuohey’s career as an author and motivational speaker. states the ESPN petition.
“Co-curators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy profited from lying about Michael’s adoption at the expense of their ward, the undersigned Michael Oher,” court documents say.
“Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February 2023 when he learned that the conservatory he had accepted on the grounds that it would make him a member of the Tuohy family actually gave him no family connection procured to her.” the Tuohys.”
Oher has asked the court to end conservatory activity and forbid them to use his name and likeness. He also wants the family who made money under his name to be fully accounted for and given a fair share of the profits. He is also seeking punitive damages and damages of an unspecified amount.
“Since at least August 2004, the Conservators have allowed Michael in particular, and the public in general, to believe that the Conservators adopted Michael and used this untruth to obtain financial benefits for themselves and the foundations they own or through which they exercise control. ‘ the petition added.
“All monies thus raised should be exhausted to the best of our knowledge and belief and remitted to said ward, Michael Oher.”
The lawsuit states that the Tuohys and their two birth children were each paid $225,000, plus 2.5% of the film’s “defined net proceeds”.
Oher’s lawyers said they found out in February that he hadn’t been legally adopted and that the discovery left him devastated.
“Mike wasn’t raised in a stable family life,” said attorney J Gerard Stranch IV.
“When the Tuohy family told Mike they loved him and wanted to adopt him, it filled a void that had been with him throughout his life. When Mike found out he wasn’t actually adopted, it shook him and hurt him deeply.”