Michael Oher, the subject of the blockbuster film “The Blind Side,” is suing Sean and Leigh Ann Touhy, claiming they never actually adopted him, and he never made a dime off the movie. The movie was released in 2009.
In the court filing, Oher states that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy presented him with a petition for a conservatorship, which granted them “total control over [his] ability to negotiate for or enter any contract.”
At that time, Oher was over 18 and had no physical or mental disabilities, though they presented it as the only option they had to legally “adopt” him since he was over 18.
Oher was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and played five seasons with the team.
Oher played more than 100 games in the pros, playing for three organizations, and winning a championship ring with the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. — Newsweek
The court complaint reads: “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.”
Oher also states that this “lie” was not known to him until February 2023, according to the complaint, to his “chagrin and embarrassment.”
ESPN.com first reported on this story and court documents.
Former NFL player Michael Oher, subject of “The Blind Side,” petitioned a court Monday with allegations that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him, instead tricking him into a signing a document making them his conservators and enriching themselves. https://t.co/x5EsGu3IVc
— ESPN (@espn) August 14, 2023
Oher, who has never been a fan of the movie about life, also is asking the court to sanction the Tuohys and require them to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.
Oher moved in with the Tuohys right before his senior year of high school and says he was told to call them “Mom” and “Dad.” Oher also states in the petition that he was encouraged to call the attorney who filed the conservatorship paperwork “Aunt Debbie” Branan.
Oher also alleges the Tuohys had him sign paperwork almost immediately after he moved in as part of the adoption process.
“At no point did the Tuohys inform Michael that they would have ultimate control of all his contracts, and as a result Michael did not understand that if the Conservatorship was granted, he was signing away his right to contract for himself,” according to the petition.
Steve Farese, a lawyer for the Tuohys, declined to comment further but did say they will be answering the court. Farese is one of the three attorneys representing the Tuohys.
Oher, who turned 37 in May, last played in the NFL in 2016 before being released in 2017 by the Carolina Panthers.
Credit: Newsweek, AP News, ABC News, The Star