This week, legendary athlete Michael Oher has turned the narrative around his rise to NFL stardom on its head.
The Blind Side (starring Sandra Bullock) purported that a “generous” family adopted a homeless teen and propelled him to a successful future.
Oher himself tells a very different story.
According to him, it’s a lie. He says that they never adopted him, but tricked him into agreeing to a conservatorship. And, allegedly, used him to enrich themselves.
Michael Oher says that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, whom Tim McGraw and Sandra Bullock portrayed (respectively) in The Blind Side, screwed him out of millions.
On Monday, August 14, he filed a petition in Shelby County, Tennessee.
He accuses the Tuohys of having “exploited” him “for their own benefit.” Why? Becuase they saw him as a “gullible young man” with real athletic potential.
Oher did confirm that he got to know the Tuohys following his junior year of high school.
A deeply “broken social system” had left him a homeless high schooler.
But Michael says that they didn’t make him their son. They made him their conservatee — and negotiated a massive payout for selling their version of the story.
Meanwhile, Sean Tuohy claims that these allegations are untrue. Well, some of them, anyway.
He told The Daily Memphian that they simply had no choice but to put him into a conservatorship.
“We contacted lawyers who had told us that we couldn’t adopt over the age of 18,” Sean Tuohy claimed.
Tuohy insisted that “the only thing we could do was to have a conservatorship.”
According to him, “We were so concerned it was on the up-and-up that we made sure the biological mother came to court.”
He also said that he would “of course” end the conservatorship if that is what Michael Oher wants.
Tuohy also says that the massive payout for the film never happened.
“We didn’t make any money off the movie,” he claimed. “Well, Michael Lewis [‘The Blind Side’ book author] gave us half of his share.”
Tuohy added: “Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each.”
He calls his conservatee’s allegations “insulting.”
According to the 63-year-old, he felt “devastated” by the allegations against him and his wife.
Additionally, he said that he noticed some distance crop up from Oher about a year and a half ago.
We want to acknowledge that we are not legal experts, but … almost everywhere in the US allows adoption of adults.
Perhaps it really was a requirement for this particular situation that they get a conservatorship.
But one has to imagine that they could have dissolved the conservatorship and replaced it with adoption years and years ago.
Tuohy alleges that he and his family only made thousands (each) from The Blind Side. We have no idea if that is true.
We do know that Tuohy is already substantially wealthy. He cites this in his defense. We have to note that, historically, people with enormous wealth will sometimes do unthinkable things to increase that wealth by a small degree.
Hopefully, there are enough records that the truth of all of this will come out in court. One thing that no one will dispute is that Michael Oher deserved better than what life has thrown at him.