Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy Claim Michael Oher Tried to ‘Extort’ Them

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy Claim Michael Oher Tried to ‘Extort’ Them

Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Tuohy — the real-life subjects of The Blind Side — are alleging that Michael Oher repeatedly attempted to “extort” them and threatened to label them as “thieves” and “fakes” if they didn’t pay him millions of dollars, according to legal documents obtained by ET. 

In new filings, the Tuohys are asking a Tennessee judge to deny Oher’s request for a temporary injunction to stop the couple from using his name and likeness. The pair provided alleged texts and emails from Oher in which they claim he tried to pressure them into giving him up to $15 million.

“If something isn’t resolved this Friday, I’m going to go ahead and tell the world, how I was robbed by my suppose to be [sic] parents. That’s the deadline,” one alleged message in the court documents states.

“Think how it will look when it comes out,” another reads. 

In his own filings, Oher claims the Tuohys — who took him under their wing as a high schooler in 2004 — cheated him out of millions in profits from the Sandra Bullock blockbuster film made about their story. The NFL retiree claims he was “robbed of fifty million.”

The couple also shared one alleged text in which Oher appeared to up the amount he wanted from them after they initially refused his request for $10 million. 

“It was 10 million. Now I want 15 after taxes,” the 37-year-old football star allegedly wrote. According to the Tuohys, they were all paid identical sums of $138,309 for the film — including Oher. 

In summation, they asked a judge to deny Oher’s injunction request, saying it lacks the necessary merits for an injunction to be granted. A ruling has not been made on the Tuohys’ request. 

Last month, the Tuohys, through their attorney, agreed to no longer make any references about adopting Oher on their websites and in their public speaking materials amid their ongoing legal battle.

According to The Associated Press, a lawyer for the couple, Randy Fishman, told a probate judge at a hearing in Memphis, Tennessee, that any references about adopting Oher will be scrubbed immediately. Shelby County Probate Judge Kathleen Gomes applauded the move, saying that the removal of adoption references is the right thing to do.

On the couple’s website, Leigh Anne is touted as a champion for adoption, and her speaker’s fee, according to her bio in Speaker Booking Agency, ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. 

The Tuohys’ decision to scrub all adoption references comes exactly two months after Oher’s request for the termination of a conservatorship was granted. 

The Blind Side — which also starred Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron and Lily Collins — earned more than $300 million at the box office.

In September, the Tuohys responded to Oher’s claims, saying “they never intended to, and in fact never did, take any assumed legal custody” of Oher when they took him in as a teenager. Further, they “vehemently deny” that they told Oher “that they intended to legally adopt him.” 

Even so, the Tuohys admit that they “occasionally referred to [Michael] as a son” and have “always felt [he] was like a son.” However, the Tuohys alleged that the word “son” was used “in the colloquial sense.”

Oher was an Ole Miss — the Tuohys’ alma mater — standout who became the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens in April 2009. The Tuohys joined him onstage after the Ravens drafted him. He’d go on to make the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie team and win a Super Bowl ring as a starting right tackle after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII. He’d also appear in Super Bowl 50 as a starting left tackle (covering “the blind side”) with the Carolina Panthers, who lost to the Denver Broncos, 24-10.

For more coverage on the legal battle between the Tuohys and the NFL retiree, check out the links below. 



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