Michael Oher alleges Blind Side adoption story was a lie


Retired NFL star Michael Oher, whose supposed adoption out of grinding poverty by a wealthy, white family was immortalized in the 2009 movie “The Blind Side,” 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.


I’ve loved this movie since it came out. But I’ve also been aware that it was more fiction than biography.

Even without factual background information that I had read, a simple watching of the film with critical thinking shows a story heavily influenced by Hollywood filters. The movie positively drips with “white saviour” tropes, and while many who have academic struggles do manage to make it through the US college system and into the NFL, I find it very difficult to believe that anyone with the kind of deficits portrayed in the movie would be so successful.

I like the movie, but I like it because its an inspiring story. Just like Star Wars, or the Shawshank Redemption. (Though not quite as good as either of those two movies, you get the idea.) But as an actual biographical story? No. Fail.

I feel bad for Mr. Oher. He was represented in a very unflattering and fictitious light in the movie. That’s bad enough. If his allegations are true, and he was not compensated and was betrayed in such a manner, that is unconscionable.


I have a similar view. I seldom go to the movies but I made an exception for this and I loved it.
I saw it years later and thought it made him out to be a bit of a dummy and the NCAA compliance officer as some kind of Snidely Whiplash, instead of someone just doing her job.
All this aside, if he received nothing for this, that’s wrong and I hope it can be proven so he can get royalties.


I agree with both assessments of the film.
I’ll reserve judgment on the alleged misdeeds until all the facts are presented, however.
Apparently Mr. Oher is currently promoting a biography he’s penned and the suggestion is that the accusations are based on the motivation to boost sales.
Lawyers for both sides will be spinning the narrative with gusto.


I like your balanced perspective.


I know nothing about this and haven’t seen the movie but noticed a response from the other side today through their lawyer. I have no opinion because of my lack of familiarity but I thought I would post the response as no one else has.

(Tuohys call Oher’s filing ‘hurtful’ and part of a shakedown attempt Tuohys call Michael Oher's filing 'hurtful' and part of a shakedown attempt | TSN)