NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The man at the center of the hit film “The Blind Side” is suing his adoptive family, claiming they never actually adopted him and instead tricked him into signing over the rights to his life story in order to financially benefit themselves.
Michael Oher, whose story was the subject of the 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” claimed in a Shelby County Probate Court that the basis of the movie and his life is a lie, saying the Tuohys never legally adopted him and have used the story to gain financial incentives from the movie that he never had access to.
In the court filing, Oher said Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy presented him with a petition for a conservatorship, which granted them “total control over [his] ability to negotiate for or enter any contract” even though he was over the age of 18 and had no physical or mental disabilities, in 2004, though they presented it as the only option they had to “adopt” him since he was over 18.
Since then, Oher claims, the Tuohys have “falsely and publicly represented themselves as the adoptive parents of Michael.”
“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,” the complaint reads.
Oher said this “lie” was not known to him until February of this year, according to the complaint, to his “chagrin and embarrassment.”
Further, Oher said in the filing, the Tuohys negotiated significant payments for themselves and their two birth children from the movie rights, including $225,000 plus 2.5% of all future “defined net proceeds.” The film, which yielded an Oscar nomination for the movie and a win for Sandra Bullock’s portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, made an estimated $330 million dollars, yielding significant money for the Tuohys to this day, the filing reads.
To this day, the complaint reads, the conservatorship is ongoing, as no member of the Tuohy family nor the Shelby County Probate Court have ever moved to have it terminated. Additionally, Oher claims the Tuohys have failed to require annual financial reports with the court as required of conservators by law.
Oher is asking the Court to require the Tuohys to account for where all the movie money went and to pay him what he says he is owed plus interest. He also asks the Court to sanction the Tuohys for their “misconduct” and pay him damages and attorney’s fees.
You can read the full complaint here.