When The Blind Side dropped, the 2009 heartwarming movie starring Sandra Bullock, NFL offensive tackle Michael Oher became the center of the sport and entertainment. The movie about him being snatched from the streets and adopted by Memphis, Tennessee suburbanites Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy was the feel-good moment of the year.
In 2023, the world learned the story was a tad offside, even though the film was based on Michael Oher’s autobiography. The former Baltimore Ravens’ lineman had a tumultuous life as a ward of the state at age 11. When he met Sean Touhy, Jr., the boy who would become his brother, Oher was homeless.
He offered a stunning headline last week that the adoption he knew to be the initial source of happiness Oher ever knew was about as fake as some of those NFL promises on ridding their sport of steroids. Today, his childhood friend and sibling-ish “completely understands” Oher’s allegation of a faked adoption.
In an interview with Barstool Sports, Sean Jr. (known as “SJ”) sides with his brother on emotion but refutes the idea that his parents made millions of dollars off their relationship.
He Said, He Said… She Said Too
It’s not like Michael Oher (37) woke up one day, figured out no one talks about him much these days and began burying his adoptive family. This was a 14-page petition of conservatorship filed in probate court. His allegation is the Touhys “tricked him” to sign a document giving them legal authority to make business deals in his name.
When he signed those papers, Oher was a high school senior.
To wit, “little bro” says, “Man, if I had $2 million in my bank account, it would be in my email signature and say, ‘Signed, SJ Tuohy, multi-millionaire,’” said Tuohy, adding that friends were sending him links to articles and “roasting” him in a group chat.
The Michael Oher story has inspired millions worldwide and strengthened their hope in family and humanity. Leigh Anne Touhy founded the “Making It Happen“ Foundation for underprivileged youth and adoption. There was a best-selling book. The movie earned Bullock an Oscar.
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.Michael Oher’s legal filing in Shelby County, TN
SJ went on to say in the interview, “I’m gonna preface this by saying that I love Mike at 16, I love Mike at 37, and I [will] love him at 67. There’s not gonna be any dossier or thing that happens that is going to make me say, ‘Screw that guy.’ That’s not the case.”
There is a world of heartache in those words. Yet, no one is certain where the truth really lives.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy’s attorney described the “outlandish” allegations as “hurtful and absurd.” The couple finds it “upsetting to think [we] would make money off any of our children.” Oher says they knowingly deceived him in legal writ. His brother is doing the rounds standing up for, seemingly, both his parents and brother.
Despite what legalese Michael Oher, Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy, SJ, or anyone else say, this was a $308M movie made on a $29M budget. If this petition is found true, it’s clear that more than the Touhys made money off Oher’s life.
However, it is likely only the movie production house was honest about it.