Blind Side Sean Tuohy Responds to Michael Oher’s Claim


Sean Tuohy, whose relationship with future NFL star Michael Oher inspired the 2009 film The Blind Side, has addressed Oher’s allegations that he was never legally adopted but placed in a guardianship that riches the Tuohys have made.

“We are devastated” Tuohy told the Daily Memphian On Monday. “It’s troubling to think that we would make money off any of our children. But we will love Michael at 37 the same way we loved him at 16.”

Oher filed a lawsuit Monday in a Tennessee court alleging that Sean Tuohy and his wife, Leigh Anne Tuohy, made him sign papers at age 18 that made them his conservators. He claimed they made millions from his story through various business deals related to the film, which became an Oscar-winning box office hit.

Oher specifically claimed that the Tuohys and their two children made $250,000 and 2.5% in leftovers from the film. But Sean Tuohy denied this on Monday.

“We didn’t make any money from the film,” Tuohy told the Memphian. “Well Michael Lewis [the author of the book ‘The Blind Side’ was based on] gave us half his share. Everyone in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It cost about $14,000 each.”

Tuohy said that because of Oher’s fame, the family was “never offered extra money” and “never asked.” He claimed her fortune was “well documented,” likely referring to Tuohy’s fortune reported sales from fast-food franchises such as KFC and Taco Bell for $213 million.

While Tuohy admitted to the conservatory activity, he dismissed Oher’s allegations of greed and dishonesty – and said the conservatory activity was in good faith. He claimed the agreement was made to comply with NCAA rules so Oher could play football for the University of Mississippi.

“We contacted attorneys who told us that we could not adopt children older than 18; The only thing we could do was set up a conservatory board,” Tuohy told the Memphian. “We were so concerned that the birth mother was going to court.”

Tuohy said it was “hard” to hear his estranged son’s allegations, but declared, “Whatever he wants, we will do.” He added the family would have been “very upset” if Oher spoke directly to them would have come and asked if he could leave the family, but they “definitely did.”

“There’s no question the allegations are offensive, but look, it’s a crazy world,” Tuohy said. “You have to live in it.”

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