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'The Blind Side' subject 'threatened' adoptive parents with negative press for P852 million: lawyer

By NICK GARCIA Published Aug 16, 2023 10:51 am

The lawyers of the adoptive parents of The Blind Side subject Michael Oher accused the former football star of attempting a "shakedown" on them for $15 million (P852 million)—before filing the petition claiming they lied about adopting him while making millions off of his name.

PEOPLE reported that Martin Singer in a statement said his clients Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy "opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support, and most of all, unconditional love."

"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," Singer said of Oher.

The lawyer also claimed that Oher "actually attempted to run this play several times before," but was "stopped" after the lawyers representing him "saw the evidence and learned the truth."

"Sadly, Mr. Oher has finally found a willing enabler" to file "this ludicrous lawsuit as a cynical attempt to drum up attention in the middle of his latest book tour," Singer added.

He also called Oher's claims about the Tuohys as "outlandish," "offensive," and "transparently ridiculous."

Oher grew up poor, until the affluent Tuohys 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 never legally adopted him and instead "tricked" him into signing a document that made them his conservators, allowing them to make business decisions on his behalf.

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 Oher appeared to have “no known physical or psychological disabilities.”

Singer said the Tuohys have "always been upfront about" the details of his conservatorship, which was apparently "established to assist with Mr. Oher's needs, ranging from getting him health insurance and obtaining a driver's license to helping with college admissions."

The lawyer said his clients "will never oppose" the termination of the conservatorship, "either now or at any time in the future."

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.

Oher 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. 

But Singer said the Tuohys "have given Mr. Oher an equal cut of every penny received from" the film, all of which has apparently been "documented in profit participation checks and studio accounting statements."

The Tuohys are "heartbroken over these events" and will "always care deeply for Mr. Oher," according to Singer, and they "desperately hope that he comes to regret his recent decisions."

"In the meantime, however, they will not hesitate to defend their good names, stand up to this shakedown and defeat this offensive lawsuit," he added.