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Everything ‘The Blind Side’ Inspiration Michael Oher Said About the Tuohy Family Prior to His Lawsuit

Everything Michael Oher Had Said About the Tuohy Family Prior to His Lawsuit
Michael Oher. Ned Dishman/Getty Images

Before Michael Oher learned he wasn’t actually adopted by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, he shared a close bond with his supposed family.

Oher was taken in by the Tuohy family as a teenager after he experienced ups and downs in the foster care system. He went on to become a sports prodigy playing college football for the Tuohys’ alma mater, the University of Mississippi, and was later drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.

Oher’s uplifting story was told in the 2009 Oscar-nominated film The Blind Side which starred Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne, Tim McGraw as Sean and Quinton Aaron as Oher. Following the movie’s success, Oher went on to write his own books and founded a nonprofit with his wife, Tiffany Roy.

However, in August 2023, Oher made headlines for claiming the Tuohys never adopted him and he was instead placed under a conservatorship.

In the 14-page petition obtained by Us Weekly at the time, Oher alleged that the family
convinced him to sign a document in 2004 and “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.”

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Oher proceeded with the lawsuit after allegedly learning in February 2023 that the conservatorship allowed the family legal authority to make business deals in his name and claimed that he hasn’t seen any money from The Blind Side’s success.

Keep scrolling to see what Oher has said about the Tuohy family over the years:

Everything Michael Oher Had Said About the Tuohy Family Prior to His Lawsuit
The Tuohy Family. Getty

Being Asked to Join the Tuohy Family

“Well we want to know … If you want to become part of the family,” Oher penned in his 2012 memoir, I Beat the Odds, recalling the moment the Tuohys asked him if he wanted to be an official member of their family. “[I] kinda thought I already was.”

Everything Michael Oher Had Said About the Tuohy Family Prior to His Lawsuit
Michael Oher with his family. Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images

Legally Joining the Family

Oher wrote in his memoir that Leigh Anne and Sean had become his guardians and had “assumed responsibility” for him but the couple was making the formal decision to make him “a legal member of the Tuohy family.”

“Since I was already over the age of eighteen and considered an adult by the state of Tennessee, Sean and Leigh Anne would be named as my ‘legal conservators,’” he wrote at the time. “They explained to me it means pretty much the exact same thing as ‘adoptive parents,’ but that the laws were just written in a way that took my age into account.”

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His Gratitude for the Tuohys

Oher spoke about the Tuohy family in an interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting in August 2023. The conversation was recorded prior to the news breaking of the lawsuit.

“The things I went through and had to do to go through to that point I went through from 3 years old to 18 when I moved in with the Tuohy family — who I’m grateful for letting me stay my senior year there — but you have to understand … what it took for me to get to that point,” Oher said to host Marshall Ramsey at the time.

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