MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis judge said Friday she is ending a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who took him in when he was in high school.
During this first court appearance, Oher and the Tuohy’s watched over Zoom and their attorneys argued their sides.
Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes said she is terminating the agreement reached in 2004 that allowed Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to control Oher’s finances. Oher signed the agreement when he was 18 and living with the couple as he was being recruited by colleges as a star high school football player.
Gomes said she was not dismissing the case. Oher has asked that the Tuohys provide a financial accounting of money that may have come to them as part of the agreement, claiming that they used his name, image, and likeness to enrich themselves and lied to him that the agreement meant the Tuohys were adopting him.
“We’re pleased with the proceedings this morning,” said Don Barrett, Oher’s attorney.
Gomes said she was disturbed that such an agreement was ever reached. She said she had never seen in her 43-year career a conservatorship agreement reached with someone who was not disabled.
“I cannot believe it got done,” she said. “I’m not saying it wasn’t done with the best of intentions, but I am telling you if someone came to me today with a similar petition, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Oher and Tuohys listened in by video conference call but did not speak as the lawyers discussed the finances perhaps linked to the conservatorship but the Tuohy’s attorneys say there are none.
“Everything that has been said about this is already on the record, I’ve got nothing to add at this point,” said Randy Fishman, Tuohy’s attorney.
Lawyers from both sides will get together to discuss a status update, which the court will then schedule.