Note: The video interview above aired Friday, before Oher filed the petition in a Shelby County court. It is included to add context.
Oher filed a petition to terminate conservatorship Monday with Shelby County Probate Court, alleging that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy never adopted him, instead convincing him to sign a document making them his conservators.
“At no point did the Tuohys inform Michael that they would have ultimate control of all his contracts, and as a result Michael did not understand that if the Conservatorship was granted, he was signing away his right to contract himself,” the document states.
According to the lore, Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy adopted Oher when he was in high school, taking him away from the violence and drugs of a Memphis housing project and giving him a chance to change his life.
Oher lived with several families — including the Tuohys, beginning in 2004 — while he played football at Briarcrest Christian School in suburban Memphis. He later played for the University of Mississippi and professionally with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers.
His life became the subject of a 2009 movie with Sandra Bullock.
In the documents filed Monday, Oher alleges that the Tuohys saw in him a “gullible young man whose athletic talent could be exploited for their benefit.”
The petition alleges the couple convinced Oher to sign what he was led to believe were papers that were a necessary step in the adoption process, and to call them “Mom and Dad.” But he was never legally adopted by the couple.
Leigh Anne Tuohy’s foundation website lists Oher along with her biological children as a member of the family.
“The adopted son of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, Michael spent most of his childhood in various foster homes and moved in with the Tuohys when he was 16,” Oher’s bio on the site states.
Oher, now 37, appeared Friday on WREG, where he spoke about his new book, the 2009 film about his life and his connection to the Tuohys. (See video above)
“People watching the movie don’t understand that I was an All-American football player before I moved in with the Tuohy family,” Oher said. “Having young people to see it and say, ‘Well, you’re making it because you got saved by someone.’ And that was never the case.”
According to the petition, “The Blind Side” movie has amassed $330 million over the years, and the Tuohys have benefited with a percentage of that money through their conservatorship.
Steve Farese, an attorney representing the Tuohys, said Monday the family had no immediate comment but would file a response at the appropriate time.