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Tuohy Family Accuses ‘The Blind Side’ Inspiration Michael Oher of Asking for $15 Million Before Lawsuit

Leigh Anne Tuohy, Michael Oher and Sean Tuohy
Leigh Anne Tuohy, Michael Oher and Sean Tuohy Courtesy of Leigh Anne Tuohy

The Tuohy’s are slamming Michael Oher’s claims they tricked him into becoming his conservators before earning millions from his life story. 

“When Michael Lewis, a friend of Sean’s since childhood, was approached about turning his book on Mr. Oher and the Tuohys into a movie about their family, his agents negotiated a deal where they received a small advance from the production company and a tiny percentage of net profits,” Marty Singer, a lawyer for the family, told The Hollywood Reporter in a Tuesday, August 15, statement. “They insisted that any money received be divided equally. And they have made good on that pledge.”

The statement continued: “The Tuohys opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support and, most of all, unconditional love. They have consistently treated him like a son and one of their three children. His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”

Oher was taken in by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy as a teenager after experiencing ups and downs in the foster care system. After later being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, his story was told in the 2009 Oscar-winning film The Blind Side. The movie, which made over $300 million at the box office, starred Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw and Leigh Anne and Sean, respectively, with Quinton Aaron in the role of Oher. 

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In August 2023, Oher made bombshell claims that the Tuohys never adopted him and instead placed him under a conservatorship. In the 14-page petition obtained by Us Weekly on Monday, August 14, 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.”

The Tuohy’s statement on Tuesday responds to Oher’s accusations, claiming they’ve “always been upfront about how a conservatorship was established to assist with Mr. Oher’s needs, ranging from getting him health insurance and obtaining a driver’s license to helping with college admissions.” 

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The family also claimed that Oher earned “an equal cut of every penny” received from The Blind Side, but he refused to accept his share of the money. They say they still deposited the money into a trust account and the lawsuit is being used as “as a cynical attempt to drum up attention in the middle of his latest book tour.”

“Should Mr. Oher wish to terminate the conservatorship, either now or at anytime in the future, the Tuohys will never oppose it in any way,” Singer said. 

Oher, for his part, broke his silence on Monday after the lawsuit made headlines, telling the New York Post, “I am disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit today. This is a difficult situation for my family and me. I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time. For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment.”

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Oher is now seeking to terminate the conservatorship and asking the court to prohibit the Tuohys from using his name and likeness.