Sean Tuohy is defending his family from “insulting” allegations.
The Tuohy patriarch—played by Tim McGraw in the 2009 movie The Blind Side—spoke out to explain his side after former NFL player Michael Oher filed legal paperwork alleging the family had lied about adopting him as a teen.
Michael, now 37, alleges Sean and wife Leigh Anne Tuohy (played by Sandra Bullockonscreen) “falsely advised” him to sign a document in 2004 that made them his conservators—giving them the legal power to complete business deals in his name—after he turned 18 years old, according to the petition obtained by E! News Aug. 14. The athlete accuses the Tuohys of having “enriched themselves” and profited from the “lie” by taking their life story to the big screen.
Sean reacted to the filing Aug. 14, telling the Daily Memphian that his family is “devastated” over the allegations.
“It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children,” he said. “But we’re going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16.”
The Blind Side grossed $300 million, with Michael’s paperwork stating that the movie paid the Tuohys and their children Sean Jr. and Collins $225,000 each, on top of 2.5 percent of the sports film’s “defined net proceeds.”
Yet, Sean told the outlet, “We didn’t make any money off the movie.”
The sports commentator then clarified that The Blind Side book author Michael Lewis “gave us half of his share.”
“Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each,” the 63-year-old continued. “We were never offered money; we never asked for money.”
Sean noted, “I will say it’s upsetting that people would think I would want to make money off any of my children.”
As for Michael’s claim about the conservatorship, Sean told the Daily Memphian the legal arrangement was allegedly meant to satisfy the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), which Michael played football for while at the University of Mississippi.
“They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family,” Sean said. “I sat Michael down and told him, ‘If you’re planning to go to Ole Miss—or even considering Ole Miss—we think you have to be part of the family. This would do that, legally.’ 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.”
He added that he would be willing to end the conservatorship if Michael would like.
For his part, Michael feels he was “falsely advised by the Tuohys that because he was over the age of eighteen, that the legal action to adopt Michael would have to be called a ‘conservatorship’ but it was, for all intents and purposes, an adoption,” per his filing.
He said he only “discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment” in February 2023, when he learned the document was not the “equivalent” of adoption papers and 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.”
The document accused the Tuohys of allowing Michael and the public to believe they adopted him “and have used that untruth to gain financial advantages for themselves.”
The filing added, “All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher.”
The Blind Side Dad Breaks Silence on Michael Oher’s Adoption Allegations. The Blind Side Dad Breaks Silence on Michael Oher’s Adoption Allegations