Michael Oher claims Tuohys dispute involves’shakedown effort’.
Michael Oher, a retired NFL player, has accused a Tennessee family of tricking him into a conservatorship and taking all the money from a big-budget movie about his life. In response, the family said on Tuesday that Oher had threatened to go public with his story if they did not pay him $15 million.
Oher’s assertions were described as “outlandish” in a statement made on behalf of the Tuohys by attorney Martin Singer, who added that “the idea that the family ever sought to profit off Mr. Oher is not only offensive, it is transparently ridiculous.”
“In reality, the Tuohys opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support and, most of all, unconditional love,” Singer’s statement said. “They have consistently treated him like a son and one of their three children. His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”
Attorney Don Barrett, a member of Oher’s legal team, said in a statement Tuesday night, “We try cases in the courtroom based on the facts. We have confidence in our judicial system and in our client Michael Oher. We believe that justice will be served in the courtroom, and we hope to get there quickly.”
The Blind Side, a 2009 film, immortalized Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy’s struggle to lift Oher out of poverty and into the NFL. Oher filed a petition with a Tennessee probate court on Monday, alleging that the Tuohy family had fabricated the claim that they had adopted him in order to benefit themselves financially. Instead, the couple allegedly duped Oher into signing a paper designating them as his conservators less than three months after he turned 18 in 2004, according to the petition. This granted them the legal right to do business on Oher’s behalf.
In addition, the petition claims that the Tuohys took advantage of their position as conservators to negotiate a deal that gave them and their two biological children millions of dollars in royalties from an Oscar-winning movie that made more than $300 million, but Oher received nothing for a plot “that would not have existed without him.” The Tuohys received $225,000 each from the film, plus 2.5% of its “defined net proceeds,” per the legal filing. The Tuohys have continued to refer to the 37-year-old Oher as their adopted son over the years, and they have utilized that claim to promote both their foundation and Leigh Anne Tuohy’s writing and speaking career.
In his statement, Singer said agents for Michael Lewis, author of the bestselling book that became “The Blind Side,” negotiated a deal in which the Tuohy family “received a small advance from the production company and a tiny percentage of net profits.”
They insisted that all funds be distributed equitably. And they followed through on that promise, according to the statement. The evidence is unambiguous and can be found in profit participation checks and studio accounting statements: over the years, the Tuohys have given Mr. Oher an equal share of every dollar they have made from ‘The Blind Side.’ They continued to deposit Mr. Oher’s equal share into the trust account they established for his son even after he started to threaten them with what he would do if they didn’t pay him an eight-figure windfall and, as part of that shakedown effort, refused to cash the small profit checks from the Tuohys.
Oher “has actually attempted to run this play several times before, but it appears that many other attorneys stopped representing him once they saw the evidence and learned the truth,” according to Singer’s statement. Sadly, Mr. Oher has now located a willing enabler and has filed this absurd lawsuit in a cynical effort to garner publicity while on his most recent book tour.
In his court petition, Oher asks for a judge to terminate the conservatorship granted to the Tuohys in August 2004 and also a full accounting of the money the Tuohys earned using Oher’s name, and to have the couple pay him his fair share of profits, as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Singer said the family will not oppose the termination of their guardianship but “will not hesitate to defend their good names, 카지노사이트킴 stand up to this shakedown and defeat this offensive lawsuit.”