Retired NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher’s lawsuit against his wealthy former guardians is the result of repetitive head trauma caused by years of playing football, according to the author who made him a household name.
“This is what happens to football players who get hit on the head: They get into trouble with violence and aggression,” said Michael Lewis, author of the 2006 bestseller “The Blind Side.” The guard while promoting his latest book.
Oher recently sued Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the couple falsely portrayed as his adoptive parents in “The Blind Side.” They claim they tricked him into signing a conservatorship agreement, allowing them to profit from his story. A Tennessee judge ended that conservatorship last month, saying she was disturbed that such an agreement had ever been reached because Oher was 18 when it was signed in 2004 and did not have a disability that could make the pact necessary.
Lewis, a former high school classmate and longtime friend of Sean, published The Blind Side in 2006, chronicling Oher’s path from an impoverished childhood in Memphis to the Tuohy household, and eventually Ole Miss — the couple’s alma mater .
At the time, the conservatorship agreement was publicly portrayed as an adoption, and it later became the particular focus of the award-winning 2009 film.
Michael Oher’s lawsuit against his wealthy former guardians is the result of repetitive head trauma caused by years of playing football, according to author Michael Lewis (left)
The Tuohy family has denied lying to Oher and denying him millions in film rights
Oher, 37, claims that the conservatorship allowed Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to profit from his story while he was denied film rights, but Lewis has pushed back on these accusations, insisting that the wealthy restauranteurs made barely anything from The Blind Side.
Lewis previously claimed that the Tuohys only made a few hundred thousand dollars from the film instead of the millions Oher claims. (Oher, through his lawyer, has demanded a full accounting of the Tuohys’ income from the film and book)
However, Lewis admitted to The Guardian that the family’s profits from the film are complicated by the fact that the Tuohys’ daughter, Collins, married Cannon Smith, who helped finance the 2009 film.
Now, according to The Guardian, Lewis speculates that Oher sued the Tuohys because he was convinced to do so by lawyers. Furthermore, Lewis believes, Oher was convinced to file a complaint against the Tuohys because he realized that people would “stand behind him if he made these accusations.”
The Tuohys are depicted as Oher’s adoptive family in the 2006 bestseller, The Blind Side
Oher’s attorney did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for a statement.
Oher’s lawyers claim he only discovered the existence of the conservatorship in February, according to the documents obtained by Mail Sport last week.
However, in his 2011 memoir, “I Beat The Odds,” Oher referred to Sean and Leigh Anne as “my legal conservators.”
Meanwhile, the Tuohy family continued to portray themselves as Oher’s adoptive parents. In fact, the family’s charity website still refers to Sean as “Michael’s adoptive father.”
Regardless, Street believes Oher could have ended the conservatorship years earlier.
“If you have enough financial knowledge to sign a multi-million dollar contract with the NFL, you should also have enough financial knowledge to know whether or not you want to stay in a conservatorship,” Street said. “They don’t let you sign a contract like that when you’re drooling over yourself.”
Oher’s lawyers obviously see things differently.
“At no time did the Tuohys inform Michael that they would have ultimate control over all of his contracts, and as a result, Michael did not understand that if the Conservatorship was awarded, he was waiving his right to contract for himself,” the attorney wrote from Oher. with the complaint.
“Michael was wrongly told by the Tuohys that because he was over eighteen, the legal action to adopt Michael should be called a ‘conservatorship,’ but it was for all intents and purposes an adoption.”
Oher has also questioned the authenticity of 2007 documents in which he apparently signed away his life rights to Blind Side producers.
“Michael Oher believes that the signature on this document is very similar to his own, and he does not know whether the signature is forged,” his attorney wrote in the Aug. 14 complaint, obtained by Mail Sport.
Oher’s conservatorship with the Tuohy family was recently terminated by a Tennessee judge
The Tuohy family could find themselves in legal jeopardy if it emerges that they were hiding money from Oher, who recently filed a motion seeking the couple’s financial records.
“If they misallocated a lot of money and they had a fiduciary duty to protect him, they’re not going to have the light of justice,” Street said.
Through their attorney, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy have alleged that Oher tried to pressure them into paying him $15 million ahead of his legal filing in Tennessee last week.
Oher claims he made several attempts to end the conservatorship, but the Tuohys “ignored” the requests.