MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local attorneys representing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy say Michael Oher’s allegations that he was led to sign away his rights over his story in “The Blind Side” are false, and they are happy to terminate the conservatorship.
“Forty-eight hours ago, a bomb dropped on our clients,” attorney Randy Fishman said. “To say they were devastated by these allegations is truly an understatement.”
The response Wednesday comes two days after a petition was filed in Shelby County court by Oher, seeking to dissolve a conservatorship with the family.
Oher alleges the Tuohy family never adopted him as promised, and instead tricked him into signing a conservatorship and exploited him for their financial gain. He claims he found out in February of this year.
But Fishman said Oher wrote a book in 2011 acknowledging that there was a conservatorship set up with the Tuohys.
“This conservatorship was set up for the purpose that I indicated earlier – so that if he chose to go to Ole Miss, it would not be an issue about Sean being a booster. And that was the sole reason,” said Fishman.
The Tuohy family took in Oher, now 37, when he was in high school playing football for Briarcrest Christian School in suburban Memphis. Oher went on to a career in the NFL.
The story became the subject of the Oscar-nominated movie “The Blind Side,” which has made more than $300 million worldwide.
Each of the five family members — including Oher — received an estimated $100,000 from “The Blind Side,” the attorneys said.
“Michael got every dime, every dime he had coming,” Fishman said.
The attorneys reiterated that the family says they would be happy to terminate the 2004 legal conservatorship.
“They don’t need his money. They never needed his money. Mr. Tuohy sold his company for $220 million,” attorney Steve Farese said. Tuohy and his wife reportedly owned more than 100 fast-food franchises.
Farese said the Tuohys did not control any of Oher’s finances, and Oher hired his own agents and signed his own contract when he entered the NFL.
He said while the Tuohy family still loves Oher, he has been estranged from the family for about 10 years and has recently become “more threatening.”