Attorney: Michael Oher attempted ‘shakedown;’ Tuohys talked about movie on reality show

An attorney for Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy alleges that former NFL player Michael Oher attempted to “shakedown” the Tuohy family by threatening to release negative information if they did not pay him $15 million.

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In a statement issued to People, the Tuohy family’s attorney, Martin Singer, said the family “opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support, and most of all, unconditional love.”

“His (Oher’s) response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”

Oher and the Tuohys were the subject of the blockbuster film “The Blind Side.” The movie told the story of Oher’s life from just before the Tuohy family took him into their home until he was drafted into the NFL.

Oher filed a petition on Monday claiming that instead of adopting him as they had promised, the Tuohy family tricked him into signing a conservatorship that allowed them to make financial decisions for him and resulted in the family sharing in millions of dollars he was denied.

According to the petition, filed at the Shelby County, Tennessee, Probate Court, Oher alleges he unknowingly authorized the couple to be his conservators in 2004, when he was 18 years old, The Tennessean reported.

“Michael trusted the Tuohys and signed where they told him to sign,” the legal filing claims. “What he signed, however, and unknown to Michael until after February 2023, were not adoption papers, or the equivalent of adoption papers.”

The filing continues, “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.”

“All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Singer, the Tuohys have “always been upfront about” the details of his conservatorship, which was apparently “established to assist with Mr. Oher’s needs, ranging from getting him health insurance and obtaining a driver’s license to helping with college admissions.”

The couple says they have no issue with terminating the conservatorship.

Profits from ‘The Blind Side’

Oher said that when he recently learned that the Tuohy family was receiving residual checks from the movie, he hired attorney J. Gerard Stranch.

“The Blind Side” was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture and earned Sandra Bullock, who played Leigh Anne Tuohy in the film, an Oscar for best actress. Tim McGraw played Sean Tuohy in the film. Quinton Aaron played Oher.

The movie grossed $300 million, and according to E! Online, Oher’s petition claims the Tuohys and their children, Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr. and Collins Tuohy were paid $225,000 each, plus an additional 2.5% of the film’s “defined net proceeds.”

The Tuohy’s attorney claims that Oher had tried to get money from the Tuohys before.

“Mr. Oher has actually attempted to run this play several times before” but was “stopped” after the lawyers representing him “saw the evidence and learned the truth.”

Singer’s statement also claimed that the Tuohys have made good on a pledge to divide the profits from the movie equally and that evidence is “clear” and shows that the “Tuohys have given Mr. Oher an equal cut of every penny received from” the film, all of which has apparently been “documented in profit participation checks and studio accounting statements.”

Clip from reality show shows Tuohy talking about movie deal

A clip from an episode of the Bravo Network’s reality show “Below Deck” that featured the Tuohys on a vacation on a yacht is being shared on TikTok.

In the episode, Sean Tuohy discusses how he negotiated for the rights to the story that became “The Blind Side” movie.

“I got a call from Steven Spielberg, Harvey Weinstein. I had to give them the rights to use our name,” Tuohy says in the show. “And I said, ‘I’ll give you the name if I get to read the script and then approve or unapproved.’”

“So sure enough, seven months later we get an envelope in the mail and it’s the script,” he says on the show.