Former NFL player alleges he’s been swindled by couple he called mom and dad.

Former NFL player alleges he's been swindled by couple he called mom and dad.

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In a recent petition filed by former NFL player Michael Oher, he has requested the termination of a conservatorship that has been in place for several years. Oher, who gained fame through the movie “The Blind Side,” is accusing the Tuohy family, portrayed in the movie as his adoptive parents, of enriching themselves at his expense. The petition also calls for a full accounting of the money earned from the use of Oher’s name and story, as well as compensation for damages.

According to the petition, Oher discovered in February of 2023 that the conservatorship he had consented to did not provide him with the familial relationship he had believed it would. This revelation was a source of chagrin and embarrassment for Oher, who felt that he had been deceived by the Tuohys. Additionally, Oher requests that the Tuohy family be sanctioned and required to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.

Steve Farese, a lawyer for the Tuohys, stated that they would be filing an answer to the allegations in court but declined to comment further. Oher’s allegations raise questions about the motivations and actions of the Tuohys, who are portrayed as caring and benevolent in the movie “The Blind Side.” Leigh Anne Tuohy has yet to respond to the allegations.

The conservatorship was initially put in place to satisfy the NCAA’s regulations when Oher was considering attending the University of Mississippi, the alma mater of Sean Tuohy. Sean Tuohy has stated that he and his wife are willing to end the conservatorship if that is what Oher desires. He added, “We’re devastated. It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children. But we’re going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16.”

The movie “The Blind Side,” which was nominated for an Oscar, brought significant attention and success to Oher’s story. Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. However, the success of the movie raises further questions about the financial arrangements surrounding Oher’s story.

Oher alleges in the petition that the Tuohys never took legal action to assume custody of him before he turned 18, despite encouraging him to call them “Mom” and “Dad.” Oher also claims that he was advised to sign paperwork related to adoption shortly after moving in with the Tuohys, despite being told it was part of a conservatorship process.

Furthermore, the petition alleges that the Tuohys began contract negotiations for movie rights based on Oher’s life story. A deal was allegedly reached to pay the Tuohys a significant sum of money, as well as a percentage of future defined net proceeds, with Oher’s signature being essential. However, Oher alleges that he never willingly or knowingly signed this contract and that it was never presented to him with an explanation.

The petition raises significant concerns about Oher’s assets and how they were used, given that his life story produced millions of dollars. Oher believes that he should have received compensation for the rights to something that would not exist without him.

Oher’s career in the NFL was successful, with him being selected as the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft and winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. However, it seems that despite his achievements, discrepancies and alleged mistreatment surrounding his life story persist.

It is important to note that Oher’s case is not the first high-profile conservatorship battle. Just a couple of years ago, Britney Spears made headlines when she fought to be released from her conservatorship, which had controlled various aspects of her life since 2008. This brought attention to the broader issue of the potential harm caused by strict conservatorship arrangements.

Oher’s petition sheds light on the complexities and potential power imbalances that can arise in situations involving money, fame, and the exploitation of personal stories. The outcome of this legal battle will likely have significant implications not only for Oher but for others who find themselves in similar situations.