‘The Blind Side’ Family Claims Film’s Subject Attempted to Extort Them
Back in August, fans of the movie (itself based on a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis) were stunned when Michael Oher, the young man whose life was the subject of both the book and the film, took his adoptive parents to court, alleging that despite what they claimed they never actually adopted him, and instead made themselves his conservators. (Doing so, he claimed, gave them the right to make business deals on his behalf, and to keep the lion’s share of the money from telling their story for themselves.) He further claimed the family, the Tuohys, used this conservatorship to “gain financial advantages for themselves and the foundations which they own or which they exercise control.”
The court ended this conservatorship back in the fall, but the case involving the money earned from The Blind Side continues. And in a new filing from the Tuohys, they allege that Oher demanded they pay him millions of dollars or he would go public with the details of their fight over the earnings from The Blind Side.
The Tuohys provided the court with what they claimed were screenshots of text messages from Oher in which he made his alleged demands. “If something isn’t resolved this Friday,” one reads, “I’m going to go ahead and tell the world, how I was robbed by my suppose to be [sic] parents. That’s the deadline.” The Tuohys have claimed they were paid the same amount for The Blind Side as Oher.
The Blind Side film wound up grossing more than $300 million worldwide. Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Actress playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, whose family (at least in the film) befriends and then adopts Michael Oher (played by Quinton Aaron), a teenager in the foster-care system. At the time news of the rift between Oher and the Tuohys broke, Oher also claimed that his relationship with the family was negatively impacted by the film, which he felt portrayed him as “unintelligent.” He further stated that the way the movie depicted him as a man who struggled academically clouded some NFL coaches’ opinions of him and what roles he could play on the football field.
Oher has yet to publicly comment on the latest developments in the case.
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Gallery Credit: Emmy Stefansky