Oher was famously the subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning film “The Blind Side” which was based on the book written by acclaimed author Michael Lewis.
He alleges that the Tuohys used their position “as conservators to strike a deal that paid them and their two birth children millions of dollars in royalties from an Oscar-winning film that earned more than $300 million, while Oher got nothing for a story ‘that would not have existed without him.’”
The petition was filed six months after Oher discovered that the Tuohy family had never legally adopted him. Oher makes the claims in the 14-page petition and says he was “tricked.”
“Less than three months after Oher turned 18 in 2004…the couple tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name,” the petition says.
According to the legal filing, “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,” continuing, “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.”
Oher’s accusations against the Tuohys include “falsely and publicly” making representations of themselves as being his legally adopted parents “to the date of the filing of this petition.”
In the past, Oher has publicly stated that he has never liked the so-called biographical film about his life.
“People look at me and they take things away from me because of a movie,” said Oher, adding “They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That’s why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field.”
Oher is also asking the court to sanction the Tuohys and require them to pay Oher “both compensatory and punitive damages.”
Now 37-years-old, Oher is seeking to also receive the money “he should have earned from the movie, as well as an injunction preventing Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy from using his name and likeness.”
Conservatorships became a more widely discussed topic in 2021 when Britney Spears was fighting to remove her father as head of her conservatorship, which is “a form of court-appointed guardianship that give licensed conservators or family members the authority to make major decisions on behalf of people deemed incapacitated and incapable of managing their own affairs. That can include controlling people’s finances and healthcare.”
“An estimated 1.3 million adults are subject to guardianship in the US, and advocates say the system is opaque with little monitoring or data,” according to The Guardian. Additionally, “[a]llegations about abuse surrounding the system are extremely common, and date back decades.”