The legal battle between former NFL player Michael Oher, and the family he says tricked him out of millions of dollars from The Blind Side, has taken a new turn.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy fired back at Oher with a new court filing on Thursday in Tennessee.
According People magazine, the filing says the couple thought of Oher as a son “in the colloquial sense” but they “never intended” to legally adopt him.
The Tuohys took in Oher, now in his 30s, when he was in high school.
The Blind Side (2009) told the story of how the teenager went from homelessness to an All-American football player and NFL draft pick with help from Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Oher filed a petition in Tennessee probate court in August, saying the couple led him to believe they were adopting him, when instead they duped him into signing documents making them his conservators.
“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 for himself,” Oher’s lawsuit says.
The Blind Side made $309 million at the worldwide box office. Oher’s lawsuit says Leigh Anne, Sean and their two biological children each received $225,000 — plus 2.5 percent of the film’s “net proceeds,” while he didn’t get any money from the film.
His petition calls for the Tuohys to pay him his “fair share of profits” from the movie and end the conservatorship.
The Tuohys claimed in their filing they placed Oher under a conservatorship for the “sole purpose” of circumventing NCAA rules that could have prevented him from playing football at the University of Mississippi, because the Tuohys were donors.
The filing says the family is “ready, willing, and able to terminate the conservatorship by consent at any time.”
The couple also “vehemently” denies Oher’s claim that he wasn’t paid for the film. The filing says he received 20 percent of the profits, the same amount as Sean, Leigh Anne and their two children.
“It is important to note that [Oher’s] share was paid to [the Tuohys] who paid the taxes due on these funds for some period of time but still cut a check for a full share (20%) to [Oher],” the filing says.
People spoke with several conservatorship attorneys in Tennessee who called the couple’s arrangement as conservators “puzzling” and “not typical.”