According to retired NFL star Michael Oher, “The Blind Side” film distorted his story.
ESPN reports Oher has filed a lawsuit against Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, an affluent white couple who had taken him into their home when he was in high school. It was believed at the time that the family had adopted him. Oher’s story was depicted in “The Blind Side” (2009) starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron, which went on to impress at the box office, earning over $300 million, according to ABC7 New York.
The Oscar-winning story that tugged on many viewers’ hearts may do so again now, but for a different reason. In a 14-page lawsuit filed by Oher, it states he was never adopted by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, per ESPN. Instead, he was misinformed, signing a document that would place the husband and wife as his conservators. According to Forbes, a conservatorship will allow the assigned person or persons to have control over the individual’s financial dealings or personal matters.
Oher also mentions that the Tuohy family greatly benefited from the success of “The Blind Side” as they earned a deal that would provide millions of dollars in royalties to them and their children. However, Oher claims he did not receive any royalties for the film “that would not have existed without him.”
“The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher,” the legal filing said, according to ESPN. “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.”
Oher is seeking for his conservatorship with the Tuohys to be terminated. He also wants financial transparency about the earnings they have generated with his name and likeness as he is looking for the couple to pay him his share, in addition to undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages, ESPN states.
“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,” the petition said, according to ESPN. “All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher.”