The Blind Side told the real-life story of Michael Oher — but he allegedly never signed a contract giving producers the rights.
In new court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Wednesday, August 23, Oher, 37, is asking that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy provide a detailed list of accounting corresponding to the earnings they’ve made on his behalf — including the 2006 film.
Oher claims in his new filing that Sean and Leigh Anne, both 63, “negotiated a contract” on his behalf regarding the Twentieth Century Fox film. “The co-conservators never presented [Oher] with any written documentation to show any earnings they derived from the movie,” the documents read. “[He] has been kept in the dark, forced to rely on the verbal assurances from his co-conservators.”
The Blind Side film — of which Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her role as Leigh Anne — was adapted from journalist Michael Lewis’ biography, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Lewis previously revealed that Oher “liked the book” but did not feel the same about the movie.
“When the movie came out he was just starting his rookie year, and I think he was hazed [about it] constantly in the trenches,” Lewis told Bloomberg in 2010. “So he refused to go see it, he didn’t go to any of the premieres, he didn’t come to the Oscars — he didn’t identify himself with it.”
Oher filed a lawsuit earlier this month, alleging that the Tuohys never legally adopted him — as they publicly said they had — and instead forced him into a conservatorship in 2004. The former Baltimore Ravens athlete is now seeking to terminate the guardianship and earn a share of the Tuohy family’s film royalties.
Sean and Leigh Anne, for their part, have denied Oher’s claims that they “tricked” him into the conservatorship.
“They have consistently treated [Michael] like a son and one of their three children,” their attorney Marty Singer told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement earlier this month. “His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”
Oher, who has denied their extortion allegations, is now claiming that Sean and Leigh Anne have failed to uphold their “statutory and fiduciary duties” to him for nearly two decades. Per the filing, the couple were obligated as conservators to file annual documents with Oher’s earnings, but allegedly have failed to “timely file a single accounting for the last 19 years.”
Oher and his lawyers further explain that by Sean and Leigh Anne failing to disclose the amounts, they “excluded” him from being aware of “any contracts negotiated on his behalf” or the amount of income that he’s earned.
“The only assets [Oher] possessed when this Conservatorship Order was entered were his great ability as a football player, which had already been widely publicized throughout the United States, and the obvious enormous potential that such fame had created to allow him to profit from his name, image and life story,” the docs read. “Instead of protecting that asset and ensuring that the Ward received the full benefits therefrom, [Sean and Leigh Anne] took this asset and have used it to enrich themselves at [his] expense.”
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Oher’s new filing further claims that Sean and Leigh Anne used his “name, likeliness and image to benefit their own interests” without his approval. The Tuohys have yet to respond to his most recent filing.