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Tuohys accuse ex-NFL player Michael Oher of attempting ‘shakedown’ as he fights conservatories | CBC sports

An attorney for a celebrity Memphis couple with a long-term relationship with former NFL player Michael Oher says they want to end a conservatory agreement he's challenging in court.

Attorney Randall Fishman told reporters Wednesday that his clients, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, intend to finalize a consent form to end conservatory work.

Oher filed a petition Monday in a Tennessee probate court, accusing the Tuohys of lying to him by making him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents nearly two decades ago.

Oher, now 37, wants a full net worth considering his life story has raked in millions of dollars, though he says he received nothing from the Oscar-nominated film The blind side. He accuses the Tuohys of falsely impersonating his adoptive parents.

The Tuohys called the allegations ridiculous and part of an attempt to quash them.

In a statement released Tuesday by their lawyers, the Tuohys said Oher's allegations were absurd. They said Oher before the lawsuit threatened to spread negative news about them unless they paid him $15 million, calling it a “shakedown.”

The conservatory papers were filed months after Oher turned 18 in May 2004. Oher alleges that the Tuohys never took legal action to seek custody from the Tennessee Department of Human Services before he was 18, despite being told to call them “Mommy” and “Mama.” Father.”

Oher claims the Tuohys had him sign the papers almost immediately after he moved in as part of the adoption process. Oher says he was “wrongly told” it would be a conservatory position since he was already 18, but the adoption was the intention. Oher said he found out in February 2023 that the conservatory agreement wasn't what he thought it was – and that it didn't give him a family relationship with the Tuohys.

Oher later attended Sean Tuohy's alma mater in Mississippi.

Oher, who was never a fan of the film about his life, is demanding that the Tuohys be punished and ordered to pay damages by the probate court. He demands payment of the amount due to him plus interest.

The Tuohys testified that the idea that they wanted to benefit from Oher was ridiculous. The statement said they were worth “hundreds of millions of dollars” and made no attempt to withhold money from Oher.

“They have consistently treated him as a son and one of their three children,” the statement said.

The Tuohys' statement said that agents from the production company negotiated a small advance payment for them The blind side, based on a book by Sean Tuohy's friend Michael Lewis. That included “a tiny percentage of net profits,” which was split equally among a group that included Oher.

Two men in suits and ties stand at a podium with microphones in a room.
Randy Fishman (left) and Steve Farese Sr., two members of the legal team representing the Tuohy family, listen to a question from the media during a news conference in Memphis Wednesday. (Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal via The Associated Press)

Martin Singer, an attorney for the Tuohys, said profit-sharing checks and studio bills support their account. The film earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

When Oher refused to cash the checks, the statement said the Tuohys placed Oher's share in an escrow account.

The Tuohys said they started the conservatory to help Oher get health insurance, a driver's license, and college admission.

Oher was the 23rd pick in the 2009 draft from Mississippi and spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won a Super Bowl. He played 110 games in eight NFL seasons, including 2014 when he started 11 games for the Tennessee Titans. Oher ended his career in Carolina when he was two years old.

He last played in 2016 and was released by Carolina in 2017.

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