NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Michael Oher, the former NFL tackle celebrated for his role in the movie "The Blind Side," submitted a petition on Monday in a Tennessee probate court. In the filing, Oher accuses Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of deceiving him by coercing him into signing papers that designated them as his conservators instead of his adoptive parents almost twenty years ago.
Oher's petition, filed in Shelby County Probate Court, seeks the termination of the conservatorship and demands a comprehensive account of the earnings derived from the use of his name and inspiring story. He also requests payment for what he is rightfully owed, coupled with appropriate interest.
According to the filing, Oher alleges that the Tuohys have been enriching themselves at his expense by falsely and publicly presenting themselves as his adoptive parents "up to the present date." It was only in February 2023 that Oher discovered the truth, undermining his belief that accepting the conservatorship would make him a genuine member of the Tuohy family.
In addition to these claims, Oher, who has harbored reservations about the movie portraying his life, urges the court to sanction the Tuohys and order them to provide both compensatory and punitive damages, the amounts to be determined through legal proceedings.
Steve Farese, attorney for the Tuohys, stated that they will respond to the allegations in court but refrained from offering further comment. Farese was one of three lawyers served on behalf of the Tuohys on Monday.
Leigh Anne Tuohy's Conservatorship and Michael Oher
Leigh Anne Tuohy, popularly known for her portrayal in the Oscar-nominated movie, recently faced accusations from Michael Oher, the subject of the movie. Oher claims that the Tuohys never took legal action to gain custody of him before he turned 18. The conservatorship paperwork was filed several months after Oher reached legal adulthood.
According to Oher, he moved in with the Tuohys just before his senior year of high school and was instructed to refer to them as "Mom" and "Dad." Furthermore, he mentions that he was encouraged to call the attorney who filed the conservatorship paperwork "Aunt Debbie" Branan.
Oher also alleges that he was made to sign adoption-related paperwork shortly after moving in, despite being told it was for a conservatorship due to him already being 18 years old. His contention is that the intention behind this paperwork was adoption, not a conservatorship.
While Leigh Anne Tuohy did not respond to an email sent via her personal website, her husband, Sean Tuohy, spoke with The Daily Memphian. He stated that the conservatorship was done to comply with the NCAA's requirements since Oher was considering attending Mississippi, which happened to be Leigh Anne's alma mater. Sean Tuohy also assured that they would respect Oher's wishes and end the conservatorship if that is what he desires.
The focus for the Tuohys is on their love for Oher and his overall well-being. Despite the allegations, they emphasized that they will continue to support and care for him, just as they did when he was 16.
It is noteworthy that Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her outstanding performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy in the movie adaptation. However, it is important to separate the real-life events and the cinematic representation.
These recent revelations shed light on a complex situation surrounding custody, guardianship, and the relationships within the Tuohy-Oher family dynamic. As the story unfolds, it remains to be seen how these allegations will impact their bond and the broader narrative.