On Monday, Michael Oher dropped a nuclear bomb on his «Blind Side» parents Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. The bombshell came in the form of a petition Michael filed in a Tennessee court. Allegations within Michael’s petition completely destroyed pretty much everything that we all believed to be true about his life with the Tuohy family.
Michael claimed that the Tuohys were one of several families he stayed with during high school. He claimed they never actually adopted him, as they seemingly implied over the years, and instead saw him as an opportunity to enrich themselves at his expense.
Instead of being adopted, Michael claimed he was tricked into entering into a conservatorship back in 2004, which gave the Tuohys the means to exploit his name and image for the last two decades. He claimed they sold his life rights to a movie studio without giving him a penny. He claimed that while the family told the world that all money made off the movie was split five ways (Sean + Leigh Anne + daughter Collins + son Sean Jr. + Michael), in fact, he received nothing while his so-called family members each earned millions.
Anyone who has seen «The Blind Side» knows these allegations are devastating both to the image we all had of Michael and the Tuohys and the general ability to enjoy that movie ever again.
But as the days have progressed, the story has twisted a little. And today the Tuohys are the ones releasing a shocking allegation… against Michael…
$15 Million Extortion
In a statement released today to TMZ, a lawyer representing the Tuohy family revealed an allegation that Michael Oher threatened to «plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.«
Furthermore, the statement claims that Michael has attempted this shakedown a number of times in the past:
«Unbeknownst to the public, Mr. Oher has actually attempted to run this play several times before – but it seems that numerous other lawyers stopped representing him once they saw the evidence and learned the truth. Sadly, Mr. Oher has finally found a willing enabler and filed this ludicrous lawsuit as a cynical attempt to drum up attention in the middle of his latest book tour.«
FYI, just last week Michael did indeed release a new book called «When Your Back’s Against the Wall: Fame, Football, and Lessons Learned through a Lifetime of Adversity.» This is Michael’s second book. In 2011 he published «I Beat the Odds: From homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond.»
Today’s Tuohy statement also addresses Michael’s allegations that they made millions off the movie and book, while he got nothing. The statement claims the Tuohys received a small advance plus a «tiny percentage of net profits.» Furthermore, the statement reiterates that all money made off the movie has always been split five-ways, including checks that were received recently in the midst of Michael’s shakedown threats.
Not that the family even needs to take Michael’s share of the money. As the statement confirms:
«Through hard work and good fortune, Sean and Leigh Anne have made an extraordinary amount of money in the restaurant business. The notion that a couple worth hundreds of millions of dollars would connive to withhold a few thousand dollars… from anyone… let alone from someone they loved as a son – defies belief.«