'Blind Side' Couple Claims Michael Oher Tried Extorting $15 Million From Them

The NFL star previously accused the Tuohy family, whose relationship with Oher inspired the 2009 film, of profiting off his story through a conservatorship.
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The family at the center of a lawsuit claiming that they took financial advantage of former NFL star Michael Oher fired back in a Monday court filing, which accuses Oher of attempting to extort millions of dollars from them.

Oher’s rise in the league was the inspiration behind the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” which showed how Tennessee couple Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy took in a teenage Oher after stints living in foster homes. But in a suit filed earlier this year, Oher alleged that the Tuohys never legally adopted him and instead made millions off of his story through a conservatorship. The Tuohys have denied withholding money from Oher.

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy stand on a street in New Orleans on Feb. 1, 2013.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy stand on a street in New Orleans on Feb. 1, 2013.
Gerald Herbert via Associated Press

In this week’s court filing, the Tuohys alleged that Oher attempted to extort $15 million from the couple after his 2016 retirement, suggesting that this had impacted his finances. The filing asks the court to deny Oher’s motion for a temporary injunction that would prevent the Tuohys from using his name and likeness.

“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 parents. That’s the deadline,” reads a purported text message from Oher that’s outlined in the filing.

“It was 10 million now I want 15 after taxes,” reads another alleged text from Oher.

Michael Lewis, whose 2006 book was the basis for the “Blind Side” film, spoke out in support of the Tuohys in August, saying it was actually Hollywood that had hoarded the profits from the movie.

“Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system,” Lewis said. “It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets.”

Oher played in the NFL from 2009 to 2016 and won the 2013 Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

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