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Oher seeks contract and payment information related to ‘The Blind Side’ in conservatorship battle

Aug 29, 2023, 1:13 PM

Former NFL football player Michael Oher, whose story became the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated...

Former NFL football player Michael Oher, whose story became the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated movie “The Blind Side,” signs books at an event for his new memoir at a store in Baltimore, Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. Last week, Oher sued Sean and Leah Anne Tuohy to lift his conservatorship with them. (AP Photo/Stephen Whyno)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Stephen Whyno)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers for former NFL player Michael Oher are seeking his school records and information about contracts and payouts related to the film “The Blind Side” as part of his highly publicized effort to end a legal agreement between him and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Shelby County Probate Court issued three subpoenas Tuesday asking for information from Memphis Shelby County Schools, Alcon Entertainment, which produced the movie, and Creative Artists Agency, a prominent talent agent firm known as CAA.

The filings are part of Oher’s attempts to end a conservatorship overseen by the Tuohys, who took in Oher while he was a high school football player in Memphis. Their story was the subject of the film “The Blind Side,” which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Oher, 37, filed a petition Aug. 14 in probate court accusing the Tuohys of lying to him by having him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents nearly two decades ago. Oher is asking for the conservatorship to be terminated, a full accounting of the money earned off his name and story to be done and to be paid what he is due, with interest.

He accused the couple of falsely representing themselves as his adoptive parents, saying he discovered in February the conservatorship agreed to in 2004 was not the arrangement he thought it was — and that it provided him no familial relationship to them. He claims the Tuohys have kept him in the dark about financial dealings related to his name, image and likeness during the 19-year life of the agreement.

The Tuohys have called the claims they enriched themselves at his expense outlandish, hurtful and absurd and part of a “shakedown” by Oher. Lawyers representing the couple also said the Tuohys would enter into a consent order to end the conservatorship they say Oher was aware of long before this year.

The couple’s lawyers said they set up the conservatorship to help Oher with health insurance, a driver’s license and being admitted to college. In Tennessee, a conservatorship removes power from a person to make decisions for themselves, and it is often used in the case of a medical condition or disability.

But Oher’s conservatorship was approved “despite the fact that he was over 18 years old and had no diagnosed physical or psychological disabilities,” his petition said.

Agents negotiated a small advance for the Tuohys from the production company for “The Blind Side,” based on a book written by Sean Tuohy’s friend Michael Lewis, the couple’s lawyers have said. That included “a tiny percentage of net profits” divided equally among a group that included Oher, they said.

The attorneys said they estimated each of the Tuohys and Oher received $100,000 apiece, and the couple paid taxes on Oher’s portion for him. The Tuohys’ lawyers said that profit participation checks and studio accounting statements support their assertions.

Two of the subpoenas ask for all documents and communications concerning Oher from Alcon Entertainment and CAA. That includes contract information and payments related to “The Blind Side” book and movie made to the Tuohys or their foundation.

The other subpoena asks for Oher’s cumulative school records and any communications related to Oher between Memphis Shelby County Schools and the Tuohys.

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Associated Press

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Oher seeks contract and payment information related to ‘The Blind Side’ in conservatorship battle