Judge ending conservatorship between ex-NFL player Michael Oher and couple who inspired “The Blind Side”

Judge ending conservatorship between ex-NFL player Michael Oher and couple who inspired “The Blind Side”

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“Blind Side” family says Oher’s claims are false


Family depicted in “The Blind Side” accuses Michael Oher of “shakedown”

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A Tennessee judge said Friday she is ending a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who took him in when he was in high school. The story was the inspiration behind the 2009 Sandra Bullock film “The Blind Side.” 

Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes said she is terminating the agreement reached in 2004 that allowed Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to control Oher’s finances. Oher signed the agreement when he was 18 and living with the couple as he was being recruited by colleges as a star high school football player.

Gomes said she was not dismissing the case. Oher has asked that the Tuohys provide a financial accounting of money that may have come to them as part of the agreement, claiming that they used his name, image and likeness to enrich themselves and lied to him that the agreement meant the Tuohys were adopting him.

Gomes said she was disturbed that such an agreement was ever reached. She said she had never seen in her 43-year career a conservatorship agreement reached with someone who was not disabled.

“I cannot believe it got done,” she said.

Oher and the Tuohys listened in by video conference call, but did not speak.

Mississippi State v Mississippi
Michael Oher #74 of the Ole Miss Rebels stands with his family during senior ceremonies prior to a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Nov. 28, 2008 in Oxford, Mississippi.

/ Getty Images


Sean Tuohy — who was portrayed by Tim McGraw in the blockbuster hit — said last month that Oher’s allegations aren’t true. 

“We didn’t make any money off the movie,” he told the Daily Memphian. “Well, Michael Lewis [the author of the book that inspired the movie] gave us half of his share. Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each.” 

“They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family,” Tuohy said, adding that because Oher was 18 at the time, the conservatorship was a way to make that happen legally since he was too old to be legally adopted. “…We contacted lawyers who had told us that we couldn’t adopt over the age of 18; the only thing we could do was to have a conservatorship. We were so concerned it was on the up-and-up that we made sure the biological mother came to court.”

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