A lawyer has confirmed the amount of money Michael Oher was paid for The Blind Side, and the revelation has left people disgusted.
It comes after the former NFL player said in a lawsuit that the Tuohy family profited millions off of his name and that the adoption narrative in the film was a lie.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a couple who welcomed 18-year-old Oher into their house as a high school student, are accused of never truly adopting him, according to a petition submitted in probate court in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Instead, the athlete’s attorneys claim that in 2004, just months after Oher’s 18th birthday, they persuaded him to sign a paper designating them as his conservators and granting them the authority to do business on behalf of the athlete.
According to court documents, the couple took use of their authority as conservators to sign the rights for the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side, about Oher’s life, which featured Bullock as Leigh Anne, brought in more than $300 million. However, the money only benefitted the Tuohys and their 2 biological children, who allegedly received $225,000, plus 2.5% per cent of the “net proceeds.”
ESPN said that Oher alleges he was not paid for the movie “that would not have existed without him” and that the family has continued to refer to him as their adopted son solely for personal gains.
However, a lawyer for the Tuohys has claimed that Oher received $100,000, which they said is the same as every other member of the family, per New York Post. They added that “a pretty simple (accounting) process” would soon reveal the ‘truth’.
People have responded angrily to the news, with one writing: “The film was a commercial success, grossing $309 million on a $29 million budget. If that’s true they only got $300k total the entire family got ripped off royally.”
A second said: “So the story is about his life and he got the same amount with the little kid and sister? Ok then.”
The court documents from the case read: “The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher.
“Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February of 2023, 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.”
Oher has requested that the conservatorship be terminated and that they refrain from utilising his name. He also demands to be given a just portion of the earnings and a comprehensive accounting of the money the family earned while exploiting his name. Additionally, he is requesting compensatory damages.
The petition stated: “Since at least August of 2004, Conservators have allowed Michael, specifically, and the public, generally, to believe that Conservators adopted Michael and have used that untruth to gain financial advantages for themselves and the foundations which they own or which they exercise control.
“All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher.”