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A judge orders the end of the conservatorship between Michael Oher and the Tuohys

Michael Oher speaks to the media during the first day of the Carolina Panthers' offseason conditioning program in Charlotte, N.C., April 20, 2015. Oher, the former NFL tackle known for the movie "The Blind Side," filed a petition Aug. 14, 2023, in a Tennessee court accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of having him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents.
Chuck Burton
/
AP
Michael Oher speaks to the media during the first day of the Carolina Panthers' offseason conditioning program in Charlotte, N.C., April 20, 2015. Oher, the former NFL tackle known for the movie "The Blind Side," filed a petition Aug. 14, 2023, in a Tennessee court accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of having him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents.

A Tennessee judge has ordered the end of the conservatorship between former NFL player Michael Oher and the Tuohy family, all of whom were the subject of the Oscar-winning 2009 film The Blind Side.

Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes said she is endingthe 2004 conservatorship, but is not dismissing the case Oher brought against the family in August asking them to provide accounting information for his finances over the years, according to the Associated Press.

A conservatorship is a legal appointment allowing a party to handle the financial and personal affairs of another. The conservatorship between Oher and the Tuohys stated that Oher could not sign contracts or make medical decisions on his own.

Gomes said she had never seen such a conservatorship used for someone who is not disabled, and that it should have been dissolved a long time ago.

"I cannot believe it got done," she said, according to the AP.

Oher was a ward of the state and entering his senior year as a football player at Briarcrest Christian School near Memphis when he began living with Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.

The Tuohys said they intended on adopting him, but because he was over 18 years of age, they presented him with a conservatorship. Oher alleges that they gave him the impression that by signing it, he would be considered adopted by the Tuohys.

"Where other parents of Michael's classmates saw Michael simply as a nice kid in need, Conservators Sean Tuohy and Leigh [Anne] Tuohy saw something else: a gullible young man whose athletic talent could be exploited for their own benefit," the petition said.

Oher said he found out in February that he had no legal, familial relation to the Tuohys.

In August, Oher filed a petition in the Shelby County Probate Court asking for the conservatorship to be dissolved because he was deceived and is now old enough to handle his own financial affairs.

He also alleged the Tuohys were paid millions for their involvement in The Blind Side, which grossed over $300 million, while he was not.

Sean Tuohy told The Daily Memphian the family was also not paid for the movie, but that each member of their family, including Oher, received half of the profits from the book the movie was based off, which came out to about $14,000 per person.

Martin Singer, an attorney for the Tuohys said in a statement to NPR, "The notion that a couple worth hundreds of millions of dollars would connive to withhold a few thousand dollars in profit participation payments from anyone – let alone from someone they loved as a son – defies belief."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Ayana Archie