A Tennessee judge has granted former NFL player and The Blind Side subject Michael Oher’s request to terminate his conservatorship with the couple who took him in when he was a teenager.
Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes ruled Friday she would terminate the agreement between Oher and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, according to the Associated Press.
During a hearing, Gomes reportedly said she was “disturbed” by the agreement, since Oher didn’t have a medical condition or disability when the conservatorship was put in place.
Still, the judge said she was not dismissing the case, meaning the legal wrangling over financial issues between the two sides will continue.
Oher, 37, filed a petition in August requesting an end to the conservatorship that began in 2004 when he was 18.
He said in his petition Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy pretended to adopt him, when instead they convinced him to sign documents making them his conservators.
Oher alleged the Tuohy’s tricked him out of millions of dollars in royalties from The Blind Side after “falsely” claiming to adopt him. In addition to seeking an end to the conservatorship, he asked the couple to pay him his “fair share of profits” from the movie.
Attorneys for the couple responded at a news conference in August and said the Tuohys did not benefit financially from placing Oher in a conservatorship and “treated him like a son.”
The lawyers said the conservatorship was set up to prevent problems with the NCAA when Oher was deciding where to attend college, “so that if he chose to go to Ole Miss, it would not be an issue about Sean being a booster.”
The Blind Side told the story of how Oher went from homelessness to an All-American football player and NFL draft pick after the Tuohy family took him in.
Based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the film was released in 2009. Sandra Bullock played Leigh Anne in the movie, Tim McGraw portrayed Sean, and Quinton Aaron played Oher.
The movie made $309 million at the worldwide box office. Oher’s petition said Leigh Anne, Sean and their two birth children each received $225,000 — plus 2.5 percent of the film’s “net proceeds.” But Oher claimed he didn’t receive any money from the film.
In a court filing earlier this month, the Tuohys “vehemently” denied Oher’s claim that he wasn’t paid for the film. The filing said he received 20 percent of the profits, the same amount as Sean, Leigh Anne and their two children.
Oher’s attorneys have asked the Tuohys to provide financial documentation on any money they may have received as a result of the conservatorship, claiming they benefitted from using his name, image and likeness.