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Former Ole Miss star Michael Oher seeks to end conservatorship with Tuohy family

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Former Ole Miss and NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher has come out with shocking allegations that he was blindsided by an agreement that gave Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy authority over his ability to profit from his story.

On Monday, Oher’s legal team filed a petition in the Shelby County, Tenn. probate court to terminate Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy’s conservatorship over the former left tackle, which gave the two autonomy to negotiate contracts on Oher’s behalf without his permission. Oher alleged that while members of the Tuohy family had previously claimed him as an adopted member of the family, they never legally adopted him.

Instead, Oher asserts the Tuohys waited until after the football standout turned 18 and had him sign into a conservatorship under their supervision. This led to Sean and Leigh Anne allegedly reaching an agreement that would grant them, alongside their two birth children, the ability to receive profits from the hit 2009 box office film, The Blind Side, while Oher reportedly received no monetary gains from a story that would not exist without him.

“At no point did the Tuohys inform Michael that they would have ultimate control of all his contracts, and as a result Michael did not understand that if the conservatorship was granted, he was signing away his right to contract himself,” an excerpt from the petition reads.

Oher adds that the four members of the Tuohy household earned nearly $225,000 plus 2.5% of “defined net proceeds” from the movie, which earned over $300 million at the box office. Though the family stated that they had shared a portion of the funds with Oher in their book, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, which was released in 2010, the former Ole Miss star disputes that claim and says he never received a dime.

In addition, the former NFL player notes that elements of the movie do not accurately reflect his life. While he did end up spending the majority of his latter high school years with the Tuohys, other families from Briarcrest Christian School had sheltered him due to his unstable home life.

Oher argues that the Tuohy family noticed his athletic abilities and exploited him for monetary gains. He alleges that Sean and Leigh Anne had him sign documents insinuating that they were necessary for the family to adopt him, but did not realize until February 2023 that he had actually signed into the conservatorship.

The petition filed by Oher also seeks to prohibit the Tuohy family from profiting off of his name and likeness. Oher is also demanding a total accounting of the funds the Tuohy family secured from his story and to have the couple pay him for what he believes to be his fair share of profits from both the film and his likeness.

Oher spent four seasons at Ole Miss before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 23rd pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. The left tackle spent eight seasons in the NFL.

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