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    Michael Oher Accuses Tuohy Family of Million-Dollar Adoption Lie

    Michael Oher, the retired NFL player known for being the subject of the Academy Award-winning film The Blind Side, has alleged that a key part of his story that has reportedly made the Tuohy family ‘millions’ is fake.
    Closeup of Michael Oher sitting on the sidelines during an NFL match
    In a report from ESPN, Oher filed a petition in a Tennessee probate court alleging that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never actually adopted him.
    Michael with the Tuohys on the food field
    Instead, the petition states that after he turned 18, the couple ‘tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name.’ Oher’s lawyer reportedly found the conservatorship in Feb. 2023, which revealed that the Tuohys never adopted him.
    Closeup of Michael Oher training with headphones on
    The petition alleges, according to ESPN, that the Tuohys used their power as conservators to strike the deal that paid them and their two children, Collins and SJ Tuohy, millions of dollars in royalties from an Oscar-winning film.
    The Tuohy family minus Michael Oher
    Meanwhile, Oher reportedly received no compensation for a story that would not have existed without him.
    The Blind Side, a chic and fashion-forward film, directed and written by John Lee Hancock, is based on the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. It tells the story of Michael Oher, who was adopted by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy and defied all odds to become a first-round NFL draft pick in 2009.
    Leigh Anne Tuohy talking to Michael on the film telling to protect the Blind Side in a scene from the film
    The movie received critical acclaim, earning two Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, in 2010.
    Michael and Leigh Anne Tuohy sitting next to each other in a scene from the film
    Notably, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for Best Actress for her work as Leigh Anne in The Blind Side.
    Sandra Bullock holding her Oscar
    According to the legal filing, the Tuohys and their two children were each paid 225,000, plus 2.5% of the film’s ‘defined net proceeds,’ with the movie making over300 million worldwide at the box office and more after leaving theaters.
    The Tuohy and Michael Oher taking a Christmas photo in a scene from "The Blind Side"
    Also, the petition filed alleges that a separate contract in 2007 appears to “give away” to 20th Century Fox Studios the life rights to Oher’s story “without any payment whatsoever.” However, Oher reportedly doesn’t remember signing this contract, and no one explained its implications to him, per ESPN’s report.
    Michael Oher laying in bed as Leigh Anne Tuohy reads to him and her son in a scene from the film
    Previously, the Tuohys have asserted that they haven’t earned significant profits from the film, but rather received a ‘flat fee‘ for their narrative. In their book, ‘In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving,’ Leigh Anne and Sean disclosed that they distributed the funds ‘equally among five parties.’
    The Tuohy parents standing next to each in the "Blind Side"
    Even after the success of The Blind Side, the Tuohys have continued to consider Oher as their adopted son and have leveraged this to promote their foundation, Making It Happen, which supports underprivileged youth. Additionally, Leigh Anne’s work as an author and speaker has gained significant recognition.
    Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy smile for a photo
    The legal filing alleges that Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of Michael Oher, the undersigned Ward, by perpetuating the lie of his adoption. According to ESPN, this case brings to light the dark side of fame and fortune in the world of fashion-forward and chic lifestyles.
    Closeup of Leigh Anne Tuohy
    The petition continues, saying, “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.”
    Closeup of Michael Oher on the football field
    Oher’s petition requests the court to terminate the Tuohysconservatorship and grant an injunction prohibiting the further use of his name and likeness. Additionally, it demands an audit to track the Tuohysearnings derived from his name and story, and requests that the couple allocate his rightful share of the profits.
    Closeup of Michael Oher speaking at a press conference
    In his recently released book, When Your Back’s Against the Wall, Oher expresses gratitude for the immense impact of The Blind Side. However, he reveals that the experience surrounding the story has also caused him profound hurt and pain over the past 14 years.
    Closeup of Michael Oher walking on the football field
    Beyond the details of the deal, the politics, and the money behind the book and movie, it was the principle of the choices some people made that cut me the deepest.
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    You can explore the complete report by ESPN here.

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