Michael Oher, The Inspiration Behind ‘The Blind Side’ Files Court Documents Alleging That Family Never Adopted Him

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 09: Michael Oher visits SiriusXM at SiriusXM Studios on August 09, 2023 in New York City.
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Former NFL offensive lineman primarily of the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher, was notably the inspiration behind the popular novel turned blockbuster film “The Blind Side.”  The film and novel detail Oher’s backstory of homelessness as a teenager, to his journey into professional football. “The Blind Side”, released in 2009, starred Quinton Aaron as Oher, Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw as Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, Kathy Bates, as Miss Sue, and more, is now coming into question for its accuracy. The film went on to snag several Oscars nominations, earning $300 million in the process.

Oher recently petitioned a Tennessee court to escape a conservatorship he was allegedly placed under by the Tuohys. The former NFL star claims that the family never legally adopted him, and instead placed him under a conservatorship so that they could continuously exploit his backstory for their own profit. This legal loophole allowed for the family to make business decisions on Oher’s behalf without his consent.

Oher additionally claims that the couple lied to him and tricked him into signing the document. ESPN was first to report the details of the court filings.

The Background

Knowledge of conservatorships expanded to the public during the public fallout of a different famous one–Britney Spears. Spears was notably placed under her conservatorship in 2008 following a mental health crisis. The legal guardianship format was initially designed for the elderly, and has come to be abused by several powerful individuals.

After Spears’ conservatorship ended in 2021, the public eye turned to similar arrangements. Amid the news of Oher’s conservatorship, fans of the NFL player’s career and the film based on his life are criticizing the Tuohy family for their alleged legal manipulation.

Others were disappointed, though not surprised by the news. Some viewers of “The Blind Side” felt that the film presented a white savior point of view.



Allegedly, the family continues to receive royalty checks associated with “The Blind Side”, but Oher does not.

Elsewhere, others accused the retired NFL star of using the case as a cash grab.

Many wished him good luck in winning his case.


Some reminded critics of the film and of the real life Tuohys to not criticize their onscreen counterparts. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, who bought a fictionalized version of the family to the big screen, had nothing to do with the conservatorship or royalties debacle associated with Oher.

Many reminded critics that Oher maintained a successful NFL career and retired comfortably. Oher married his wife in 2022 after 17 years together. The couple share four children together.

Many hope for a sequel to “The Blind Side” or an independent follow up that would allow Oher to regain control of his own story, and make some royalties money in the process.

Many continue to question the film’s moral integrity, given that Oher spoke out on several inaccuracies years later that he alleges production never asked him about.

A trial date is to be announced.

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