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'The Blind Side' subject on lawsuit vs. adoptive parents: 'Difficult situation for my family and me'

By NICK GARCIA Published Aug 16, 2023 11:47 am

The Blind Side subject Michael Oher said it was a "difficult situation" for him and his family following his bombshell lawsuit that accuses his adoptive parents of never legally adopting him and instead tricking him into signing a document that made them his conservators—while they allegedly made millions off of his name.

"I am disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit," the former football star said in a statement sent to PEOPLE via his representative.

"This is a difficult situation for my family and me. I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time," he added. "For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment."

Oher grew up poor until the affluent Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy adopted him, eventually leading to his life story's depiction in the 2009 movie starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and Quinton Aaron.

But he claimed the Tuohys urged him to sign a conservatorship, thinking it was required in the adoption process.

Conservatorship is an arrangement in which a court removes at least some “decision-making powers and duties” from “a person with a disability who lacks the capacity to make decisions in one or more important areas."

A conservator (or co-conservators), then, gains those decision-making powers. The 2004 order that granted Oher’s conservatorship states that he appeared to have “no known physical or psychological disabilities.”

Oher also claimed that he unknowingly signed away the rights to his life story to 20th Century Fox in 2007.

He also claimed he got nothing despite the movie earning over $300 million (P17 billion) worldwide.

Oher is seeking the termination of the conservatorship that began when he was 18, the money he says he should've earned from the movie, and an injunction preventing the Tuohys from using his name and likeness.

Sean told The Daily Memphian he had been “devastated” to hear about the lawsuit. He said it was “upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children.”

He said everybody in his family, including Oher, got an equal share from the movie, at around $14,000 (P795,000). He's also reportedly willing to end the conservatorship.

A lawyer for the Tuohys told PEOPLE in a separate statement that they have "always been upfront" about the details of his conservatorship. The lawyer said his clients "will never oppose" the termination of the conservatorship, "either now or at any time in the future."

They also claimed that Oher threatened to plant a negative story about them unless they paid him $15 million (P852 million).