Michael Oher Forgot to Check His Blindside – Tricked into Conservatorship

Former NFL player and subject of “The Blind Side,” Michael Oher claims that the Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy lied about the adoption process and tricked him into a conservatorship.

Oher and his attorney filed a petition to terminate the conservatorship in Shelby County Court in Tennessee this Monday. The petition states that “The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-conservators Leigh Ann Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher.”

The two largest issues in this situation are the lack of Oher’s knowledge of the conservatorship and the lack of payment for rights to his own name or life story. The family allegedly told Oher that they were adopting him, but because Oher turned 18 and was no longer a minor, the adoption paperwork was simply titled a conservatorship. The petition states that “at no point did the Tuohy’s 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 claims that the family failed to explain documentation that they had him sign, including the paperwork signing over the rights to his own life story. According to the petition, “nobody ever presented this document to him with any explanation,” despite Oher’s signature gracing the page.

Through their deal with 20th Century Fox for “The Blind Side” movie, based entirely on Oher’s life from a homeless childhood to a collegiate athletic career and later a professional NFL career, the Tuohy’s managed to leave Oher without any profits from the film. Meanwhile, the family got a contract of $225,000 as well as a payment of 2.5% of the film’s net proceeds, which has totaled over $300 million. Oher was left with no money made from the film even though it was released after he had completed college, thus would not affect his NCAA eligibility.

The petition claims that the conservatorship granted in 2004 was meant to end once Oher reached the age of 25 or until the court terminated it otherwise. Despite Oher being 37 years old, the conservatorship was never terminated. To his surprise, Oher only discovered the conservatorship this past February. Through the petition he is now requesting the termination of the conservatorship as well as an injunction to bar the Tuohy family from using his name and likeness.

The family’s attorney has not yet commented on the issues, but Sean Tuohy and Sean Tuohy Jr. have both spoken up saying that they love Michael no matter what. Sean Tuohy told reporters that they were advised by a lawyer that “the only thing [they] could do was to have a conservatorship” since they “couldn’t adopt over the age of 18,” but he would have been more than happy to have terminated it if it was what Oher wanted. Sean Tuohy Jr said that he was unaware of the adoption process and movie deal, but told reporters that he “was accusatory of my parents to some extent, like I want to make sure I’m not defending the wrong side of this.”

How Oher had no idea of the conservatorship until this year, it is quite unclear. We will only truly understand the situation as more information arises, as this will be the second high-profile conservatorship case in recent years, alongside Britney Spears.

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