ESPN: Michael Oher Alleges ‘Blind Side’ Adoption Element Was Lie

Aug 14, 2023, 12:09 PM | Updated: 12:10 pm

Michael Oher #73 of the Carolina Panthers watches a replay...

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25: Michael Oher #73 of the Carolina Panthers watches a replay against the Minnesota Vikings in the 3rd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Michael Oher, the subject of the popular move “The Blind Side”, filed a petition alleging the central part of the movie made about his life was a lie, ESPN reported.

The petition states that while the movie depicts Oher being adopted by a wealthy family, the Tuohys, he was actually placed under a conservatorship when he turned 18. An adoption would have made Oher part of the Tuohy family and he would have maintained control of his financial decisions while a conservatorship allowed the family to make financial decisions and business deals in his name.

The petition also alleges that the family used the conservatorship to make the movie deal in which they would earn royalties while Oher got nothing from the massively successful film. The Tuohy family says they were paid a flat fee for the story behind the movie, and never a share of profits. They also said they shared the money with Oher.

“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.”

Michael Oher’s Life

Much like the movie, Oher grew up in poverty as one of twelve children. He eventually ended up in the foster care system before a friend’s father who was impressed with his drive and focus helped him get into a private Christian school. He still had no consistent place to call home and would bounce around friends’ homes. That’s how he eventually got close to the Tuohys who invited Oher to live with them.

“Mike didn’t grow up with a stable family life,” his attorney, J. Gerard Stranch IV said. “When the Tuohy family told Mike they loved him and wanted to adopt him, it filled a void that had been with him his entire life. Discovering that he wasn’t actually adopted devastated Mike and wounded him deeply.”

Oher said his relationship with the Tuohys started to decline shortly after the movie was released in November of 2009 during his NFL career. He didn’t like that the movie portrayed him as unintelligent. He said the depiction hurt his NFL career and made people doubt his leadership ability.

Last week, Oher released a book titled “When Your Back’s Against The Wall,” about his version of his life’s story.

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ESPN: Michael Oher Alleges ‘Blind Side’ Adoption Element Was Lie