‘The Blind Side’ inspiration Michael Oher alleges film was based off a lie


Michael Oher served as a subject for 2009s The Blind Side
Michael Oher served as a subject for 2009’s The Blind Side

Michael Oher, the former NFL player whose tale inspired 2009’s The Blind Side, has filed a lawsuit against the popular book and film for perpetuating a falsified story.

Adapted from a book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side centered around Oher, an orphan Black kid living across foster homes before he was adopted by a rich white family. The film is meant to depict the journey of the athlete toward becoming a successful NFL player.

In the court documents, Oher alleged Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him, but rather “deceived him into making them his conservators just after his 18th birthday,” through which they earned millions in royalties from the film.

“Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February of 2023,” alleged the petition, “when he learned that the conservatorship to which he consented on the basis that doing so would make him a member of the Tuohy family, in fact provided him no familial relationship with the Tuohys.”

Through the lawsuit, the retired athlete is seeking an end to the Tuohys’ conservatorship, hindering the family from any right to his name and image for further promotion of their work.

In his 2011 memoir, Oher explained that the Tuohys appeased him by telling him conservatorship and adoption were almost identical, and were only separated by his age factor.

Oher’s lawyer, J Gerard Stranch IV, told ESPN on Monday that his client was only informed about never being adopted by the Tuohys after he retired from the NFL in 2016.

“Mike didn’t grow up with a stable family life,” Stranch said. “When the Tuohy family told Mike they loved him and wanted to adopt him, it filled a void that had been with him his entire life.

“Discovering that he wasn’t actually adopted devastated Mike and wounded him deeply.”


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