Michael Oher filing: Tuohy family calls it "hurtful"
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy deny claims made by Michael Oher that they profited off him and accuse him of attempting to extort $15 million from them.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy have responded to Michael Oher's allegations that they profited off of him, calling his claims "outlandish" and "absurd." Oher, a former NFL player whose relationship with the Tuohy family inspired the movie "The Blind Side," filed a petition to terminate a conservatorship initiated by the Tuohys in 2004.
In a statement issued by their attorney, the Tuohys expressed their heartbreak over Oher's recent actions and accused him of attempting to extort $15 million from them by threatening to plant a negative story about them. They hope that Oher will come to regret his decisions and that they can reconcile, but in the meantime, they are determined to defend their good names and defeat this offensive lawsuit.
According to Oher's petition, he discovered that the conservatorship he consented to in order to become a member of the Tuohy family did not provide him with the familial relationship he had expected. He moved in with the Tuohys during his senior year of high school and attended the same college as Sean Tuohy. Oher now seeks a full accounting of his assets, as he claims his life story generated millions of dollars and he received nothing.
Oher, who has never been a fan of the movie based on his life, also requests that the Tuohys be sanctioned and required to pay compensatory and punitive damages. The Tuohy family vehemently denies the accusation that they sought to profit off of Oher, stating that they are worth "hundreds of millions of dollars" and the idea that they would withhold a few thousand dollars is preposterous.
The statement explains that the Tuohys negotiated a small advance from the production company for "The Blind Side" and fulfilled their promise to share the net profits equally. Evidence of this can be found in profit participation checks and studio accounting statements. When Oher refused to cash the "small profit checks" as part of his alleged extortion attempt, the Tuohys deposited his share into a trust account for his son.
The Tuohys assert that they received no financial gain as Oher's conservators and established the conservatorship solely to assist him with health insurance, a driver's license, and college admissions. They state that they will not oppose Oher's desire to terminate the conservatorship.
In response to Oher's claims, the statement mentions that he has made similar attempts in the past, only to have attorneys abandon him once they learned the truth. The Tuohys view this as a cynical ploy on Oher's part to garner attention for his latest book tour.
Oher, a former NFL player, was drafted in 2009 and spent the majority of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, winning a Super Bowl with the team. He played 110 games over eight seasons, including a stint with the Tennessee Titans and two years with the Carolina Panthers.