The Blind Side Subject Sean Tuohy Breaks Silence on Michael Oher’s Adoption Allegations

The Blind Side subject Sean Tuohy said he's "devastated" after NFL player Michael Oher filed legal paperwork alleging the Tuohys lied about adopting him and instead became his conservators.

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 15, 2023 2:14 AMTags
Watch: Michael Oher, Subject of "Blind Side" Claims Tuohy Family Lied About Adoption

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 Bullock onscreen) "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."

Football Movies & TV Shows

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."

Steve Granitz/WireImage

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. 

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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."

E! News has reached out to reps for Michael, the Tuohys and the NCAA for comment and has not heard back.

Look back on more photos of the Tuohys and Michael Oher:

The Blind Side Premiere

Collins Tuohy, Sean Tuohy Jr., Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy got dressed up for the 2009 New York premiere of The Blind Side, the movie based on their life with adoptive son Michael Oher, who became a pro football player.

Oscars Night

The longtime couple walked the red carpet at the 2010 Academy Awards in Los Angeles in honor of The Blind Side, which earned actress Sandra Bullock an Oscar that year for playing Leigh Anne.

The View Appearance

Michael Oher promoted his book I Beat the Odds on The View in 2011.

Real-Life Inspiration

Sandra Bullock posed with Leigh Anne, who she played onscreen, at a Blind Side benefit event in New Orleans in 2009.

The Heat Premiere

Sean, Leigh Anne and Collins attended the movie's New York premiere in 2013.

Wedding Day

Michael tied the knot with Tiffany Roy in November 2022. "Filled with joy, can't believe people took their time and came to celebrate!" the former NFL player captioned a photo of the ceremony. "My beautiful wife, I love you so much, thank you for blessing me with our family! Easily the best single weekend I've ever been apart of." 

CMT Music Awards

Leigh Anne and and Sean brought daughter Collins to the 2010 CMT Music Awards, where Carrie Underwood was a big winner.

The Trio Together

The group posed for a photo at the Nashville event.

Legacy Lives On

Oher stopped by the Walk of Champions at Ole Miss in April 2023. "Glad to see my name's still there," he wrote. "Class of ‘09, represent (‘08 football season). I got to take a tour of the new facilities under construction."


Collins' Date Night

The marketing expert shared a photo with her husband Cannon Smith at the Old Florida Fish House
in July 2023. "Sweaty faces and full hearts," Collins wrote on social media. "It's a hot one down here, but we are having the best time. This restaurant is an oldie but goodie. We always eat here at least once. Best sushi."


New York Interview

Michael stopped by SiriusXM Studios in NYC on Aug. 9, 2023. 

Mom-Daughter Moment

"Always know football season is right around the corner when it hits LAT's birthday," Collins wrote on Instagram in August 2023 alongside a throwback photo. "Today is the day… Happy Birthday Mom!! Love you!"

Family Photo

The football pro shared a pic with his loved ones in March 2023, writing, "Life is Beautiful‼️#family #life #growth."

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner After-Party

The pair, who got married in 1982, went to an after-party hosted by Bloomberg and Vanity Fair party following the 2010 White House Correspondents dinner in Washington, DC.

Book Release

Michael geared up for the release of his book When Your Back's Against the Wall in August 2023.

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