Retired NFL star and subject of the Oscar-winning movie “The Blind Side” Michael Oher petitioned a Tennessee court on Monday with claims that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy made millions from a lie.
Oher alleges that the couple who took him in as a teenager misled him into believing they were adopting him — and instead placed him in a conservatorship, which gave them the legal power to make business deals in his name. One of those deals was for the movie that paid the Tuohys and their children millions in royalties, but none of those royalties went to Oher himself.
"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 says. "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."
The petition states that the movie paid the Tuohys and their two birth children each $225,000, plus 2.5% of the film’s “defined net proceeds.”
The film has grossed over $300 million, the petition says. A $200,000 donation was also made to Leigh Anne Tuohy’s charitable foundation.
Oher made no money off the film, the petition said, which was released after he completed his college career and would not have impacted his NCAA eligibility.
Oher’s petition asks the court to end the Tuohys’ conservatorship and to issue an injunction barring them from using his name and likeness. It also seeks a full accounting of the money the Tuohys earned using Oher’s name, and to have the couple pay him his fair share of profits, as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The petition says the Tuohys breach of their fiduciary duty as conservators was “so gross and appalling that they should by sanctioned by this court.”
Oher says he does not remember signing the agreement for the rights to his life story, although the document has a signature that appears to be his.
Oher played college football at the University of Mississippi, the Tuohys’ alma mater. He was a two-time All-American and a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.