The Tuohy family filed new court documents revealing that Michael Oher was paid more than $138,000 for The Blind Side despite his past claims that he received nothing from the film.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy paid Oher $138,311.01 over 10 installments starting in 2007, according to the court docs filed on Wednesday, November 8, and obtained by People. According to the filing, the final installment of $8,480.10 was paid in April of this year.
“After a 10 percent commission was paid, one-third of this sum was given to Michael Oher by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy,” read the paperwork. “Checks for 2021 and 2022 have not cleared the Tuohys’ bank accounts.”
Oher — whose story inspired 2009’s The Blind Side — filed a lawsuit in August alleging that Sean and Leigh Anne never legally adopted him but instead forced him into a conservatorship in 2004 that granted them legal control over his finances. In his filing, Oher said he consented to the conservatorship “on the basis that doing so would make him a member of the Tuohy family.” He went on to claim that the arrangement “in fact provided him no familial relationship with the Tuohys.”
The film, in contrast, portrayed Sean and Leigh Anne, both 63, as loving adoptive parents who took Oher in after he was unsuccessfully placed in a series of foster homes. The movie was a massive success, ultimately earning more than $300 million at the box office and scoring Sandra Bullock an Oscar for her performance as Leigh Anne.
Part of Oher’s lawsuit claimed that the Tuohy family “negotiated a contract” on his behalf regarding proceeds from the film, which was based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name.
“The co-conservators never presented [Oher] with any written documentation to show any earnings they derived from the movie,” the suit claimed. “[He] has been kept in the dark, forced to rely on the verbal assurances from his co-conservators.”
Oher, now 37, was seeking to terminate the guardianship and earn a share of what the Tuohy family allegedly made from the film. His lawyers have since issued subpoenas requesting “all documents and communications” regarding the movie’s contracts and payments.
“I am disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit today,” Oher said in a statement after his court filing made headlines. “This is a difficult situation for my family and me. I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time. For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment.”
Sean and Leigh Anne, meanwhile, denied Oher’s claims and alleged that Oher threatened to “plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”
In September, Judge Kathleen Gomes ruled in a Tennessee court to end the 20-year conservatorship. At the time of the ruling, Gomes stated she “cannot believe” the conservatorship was ever put in place.