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Tuohy family to end conservatorship with former Ole Miss star Michael Oher

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Following controversy that has arisen over the relationship between Michael Oher and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Tuohy family plans to end a conservatorship with the former Ole Miss and NFL offensive lineman.

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 claims that he had no idea he was under a conservatorship and that the Tuohys used his status to facilitate a deal where they would profit off of the hit movie, The Blind Side, while leaving the former football player earning nothing from the film. Oher adds that the four members of the Tuohy household earned nearly $225,000 plus 2.5 percent 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.

“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.

Attorneys representing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, on the other hand, argue that Oher was well aware of the conservatorship, noting that he mentioned it multiple times in his book, I Beat The Odds: From Homeless To The Blind Side.

The lawyers also claim that the former Ole Miss star is sensationalizing the conservatorship after the Tuohys refused to pay him $15 million after he allegedly threatened to take them to court over the matter. The family also asserts that Oher received financial compensation from The Blind Side and had no desire to profit from Oher’s story.

“They don’t need his money,” one of the couple’s attorneys stated. “They’ve never needed his money. Mr. Tuohy sold his company for $220 million.”

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.

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohys’ legal team alleges that they, in part, entered into the conservatorship with Oher because it was the safest way to have him enrolled at Ole Miss without any possible repercussions from the NCAA due to a perceived conflict of interest. Both Tuohys are graduates of the university and known boosters of the school’s athletics department.

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, playing for three different teams. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2013.

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