“The Blind Side” star Michael Oher, who played in the NFL for eight seasons, has filed a lawsuit against the White family who took him into their home during high school. Oher alleges that Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy deceived him about his adoption and used a conservatorship to make millions off of his story, popularly featured in the 2009 movie.
Oher, now retired, claims that the Tuohys never adopted him. The former offensive tackle says the wealthy couple “tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name,” ESPN.com reported Monday, August 14.
The website further revealed:
The petition further alleges that the Tuohys used their power 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.” In the years since, the Tuohys have continued calling the 37-year-old Oher their adopted son and have used that assertion to promote their foundation as well as Leigh Anne Tuohy’s work as an author and motivational speaker.
“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.”
As Oher’s allegations made the rounds Monday, the phrase “The Blind Side lie” began trending, along with “Michael Oher” and “Sandra Bullock.”
Oher’s story was immortalized in film with the release of the faith-based movie “The Blind Side.” Sandra Bullock won several awards, including an Oscar, for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. Despite its numerous award nominations, “The Blide Side” was criticized for taking liberties with Oher’s story (giving another meaning to “The Blind Side lie”) and its handling of race. Most notably, moviegoers felt the film perpetuated the White savior narrative, which is the idea that White people are the only ones who can save people of color.