Former NFL tackle Michael Oher, who gained fame as the inspiration for the movie “The Blind Side,” has filed a petition in a Tennessee probate court accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of deceptive practices. Oher claims they misled him into signing documents that made them his conservators, rather than his adoptive parents, almost twenty years ago.
In his petition, submitted to Shelby County Probate Court, Oher not only requests the termination of the conservatorship but also demands a comprehensive financial audit of the profits generated from his name and story. Additionally, he seeks compensation for unpaid dues along with interest.
Oher alleges that the Tuohys exploited him for their own financial gain by presenting themselves as his adoptive parents “falsely and publicly” up until the present time. He only discovered this deception in February 2023, realizing that the conservatorship he agreed to did not provide him with the familial connection he believed he was establishing.
“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,” the petition said.
Oher is requesting sanctions against the Tuohys and urges them to pay both compensatory and punitive damages as deemed appropriate by the court. The Tuohys’ attorney, Steve Farese, stated that they will respond to the allegations in court, refraining from giving any other comment.
Sean Tuohy recently told The Daily Memphian that the conservatorship was initially established to satisfy NCAA requirements, as Oher was considering attending Mississippi, where Leigh Anne Tuohy had studied.
While Sean Tuohy expressed their willingness to terminate the conservatorship if Oher desires. “We’re devastated,” he said. “It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children. But we’re going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16.”
Oher accuses the Tuohys of never having legally pursued custody from the Tennessee Department of Human Services before he turned 18, claiming that the conservatorship documents were filed after he had already reached that age. He notes that upon moving in with the Tuohys before his senior year of high school, he was instructed to address them as “Mom” and “Dad.”
Oher further asserts that he was coerced into signing paperwork related to the adoption process shortly after moving in. He maintains that he was misled into believing the arrangement was a conservatorship due to his age but that the true intention was adoption.
The petition reveals that Oher’s life story led to substantial earnings, including a book and a movie deal. He alleges that contract negotiations began without his consent, resulting in a deal that would financially benefit the Tuohys. A contract titled “Life Story Rights Agreement” was purportedly signed by Oher in April 2007, according to the petition.
Oher is seeking accountability for the financial gains generated from his life story, pointing out that he received nothing despite being the reason the story exists. The former NFL player had a successful career, playing for various teams and even winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.
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