‘Blind Side’ subject Michael Oher suing ‘adoptive family’ to end conservatorship

Former NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher, the inspiration for the 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” filed a petition in a Tennessee probate court on Monday, accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of lying and tricking him into signing papers making them his conservators instead of his adoptive parents two decades ago.

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Oher, 37, who played eight seasons in the NFL and played collegiately at the University of Mississippi, filed the petition in Shelby County probate court. The petition seeks to end the conservatorship of his name and financial dealings with the Tuohys, who helped make his life story a huge hit on the screen, The Tennessean reported.

The 14-page petition alleges that the Touhys, who took Oher into their home as a high school student, never adopted him, ESPN reported. He claimed that less than three months after Oher turned 18 in 2004, the couple tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name.

“The Blind Side” was nominated for best picture and earned Sandra Bullock, who played Leigh Anne Tuohy in the film, an Oscar for best actress.

According to court documents obtained by WKRN-TV, Oher said that Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy presented him with a petition for a conservatorship that granted them “total control over (his) ability to negotiate for or enter any contract.” Oher added that he had no physical or mental disabilities in 2004, although the couple allegedly presented conservatorship as the only option because Oher was older than 18, the television station reported.

Since then, Oher claimed in the petition, the Tuohys have “falsely and publicly represented themselves as the adoptive parents of 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,” the petition stated, according to The Associated Press.

Oher also asked the court to prevent the Touhys from using his name, image and likeness, The Tennessean reported. He also requested that the court sanction the couple and force the family to pay Oher all money that should have been his -- plus interest, according to the newspaper.

That includes royalties from “The Blind Side.”

The film generated the Touhys and their two birth children more than $300 million, Sports Illustrated reported. That included $225,000 plus 2.5% of all future “defined net proceeds,” WKRN reported.

Oher stated in the petition that he received no money in exchange for his story.

The Tuohy family did not immediately return telephone calls Monday to ESPN. Their attorney, Steve Farese, declined comment to the cable sports news outlet, saying the family would file a legal response to the allegations in the coming weeks.

After playing at Ole Miss, Oher was a first-round selection of the Baltimore Ravens (23rd overall) in the 2009 NFL draft, reported. He played five seasons with the Ravens and later played on the offensive line for the Tennessee Titans in 2014 and the Carolina Panthers in 2015-16.

He won a championship ring when the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 and appeared in Super Bowl 50 with Carolina.