Judge ending conservatorship between ex-NFL player Michael Oher and couple who inspired “The Blind Side”

Former NFL player Michael Oher’s conservatorship agreement with a Memphis couple who took him in when he was a high school student is being terminated, a Tennessee judge announced on Friday. The narrative served as the basis for the 2009 Sandra Bullock movie “The Blind Side.”

Judge Kathleen Gomes of the Shelby County Probate Court said that she is nullifying the 2004 agreement that gave Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy power over Oher’s funds. When Oher was 18 and lived with the couple, he signed the contract because he was a standout high school football player who was being pursued by schools.

Gomes stated that she was not throwing out the case. Oher claims that the Tuohys used his name, image, and likeness to benefit themselves and misrepresented to him that the arrangement meant the Tuohys were adopting him. He has requested that they submit a financial accounting of any money that may have gone to them as part of the deal.

Gomes expressed her dismay that such a compromise was ever made. In her 43-year career, she claimed, she had never witnessed a conservatorship agreement with a non-disabled person.

I can’t believe it was finished, she exclaimed.

Through a video conference call, Oher and the Tuohys listened in but did not participate.

OXFORD, MS – NOVEMBER 28: Michael Oher #74 of the Ole Miss Rebels stands with his family during senior ceremonies prior to a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 28, 2008 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images)

 

Tim McGraw’s on-screen character Sean Tuohy claimed last month that Oher’s accusations are untrue.

According to him, “We didn’t make any money off the movie,” he told the Daily Memphian. “Well, Michael Lewis, the writer of the novel from which the film got its inspiration, gave us half of his share. Michael received the same amount as the rest of the family members. Each cost around $14,000.

Because Oher was 18 at the time, the conservatorship was a method to make that happen legally because he was too old to be officially adopted. “They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family,” Tuohy recalled. “…We contacted attorneys who informed us that we could only adopt children under the age of 18 through a conservatorship. We made sure the biological mother attended court since we were so worried that everything was right.

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