Ex-NFL player and subject of the popular Christian movie The Blind Side, Michael Oher, has claimed he was cheated out of the film’s profits.

The 2009 Christian film, with Hollywood heavyweight Sandra Bullock as its star, grossed more than $300 million.

ESPN reports that Oher petitioned a Tennessee court Monday with allegations that a central element of the story was a lie concocted by the family to enrich itself at his expense.

The 14-page petition, filed in Shelby County, Tennessee, probate court, alleges that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, who took Oher into their home as a high school student, never adopted him.

Instead, less than three months after Oher turned 18 in 2004, the petition says, the couple tricked him into signing a document making them his conservators, which gave them legal authority to make business deals in his name.

A 14-page petition filed in Shelby County, Tenn., probate court further claims the Tuohys used their conservatorship to make themselves and their birth children millions of dollars in royalties from the 2009 Warner Bros. movie starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

Oher, now 37, accuses Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of duping him when he was 18 years old, which is old enough to sign the binding contract under Tennessee law, into signing a conservator agreement that gave them legal authority over his name, image and likeness.

“The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher,” the legal filing says.

“Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February of 2023, when he learned that the Conservatorship to which he consented on the basis that doing so would make him a member of the Tuohy family, in fact provided him no familial relationship with the Tuohys.”

According to the legal filing, the movie paid the Tuohys and their two birth children each $225,000, plus 2.5% of the film’s “defined net proceeds.” According to the court filing, Oher allegedly did not receive profits from the film.

ESPN reported that in the years since, the Tuohys have continued calling the 37-year-old their adopted son and have used that assertion to promote their foundation as well as Leigh Anne Tuohy’s work as an author and motivational speaker.

The Tuohy family did not immediately return phone calls Monday to numbers listed for them. Their attorney, Steve Farese, declined comment to ESPN on Monday, saying the family would file a legal response to the allegations in the coming weeks.

Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian website that he was stunned by Oher’s allegations and said the Tuohys “didn’t make any money off the movie,” only a share of proceeds from Michael Lewis’ book, which was the foundation for the film.

“We’re devastated,” Sean Tuohy told the outlet. “It’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children. But we’re going to love Michael at 37 just like we loved him at 16.”

The Blind Side is based on the 2006 book of the same name by Michael Lewis. The film tells the story of Oher, the former American football offensive lineman who overcame an impoverished upbringing to play in the NFL with the help of his reportedly adoptive parents Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.

It starred Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy, and Quinton Aaron as Oher.

The film was a commercial success, grossing $309 million on a $29 million budget. Despite mixed reviews from critics, Bullock’s performance was universally praised, leading to her winning the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Bullock also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. The film also received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The Touhys are the owners of over 85 franchise fast-food restaurants in the southern United States. Leigh Anne Tuohy has reportedly a net worth of $50 million. The franchise restaurants the Tuohys own include Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s.

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