Oher's attorneys claim he was "kept in the dark" by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, who "failed" to file accountings of his finances for nearly 20 years
Michael Oher “has been kept in the dark” about his finances for nearly 20 years, his attorneys claim in a new legal filing this week.
In the filing, Oher, 37, requests that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy file an initial accounting of his finances within two weeks, asking the court to set a deadline on the Memphis-area couple to clarify what money has been made off his name since The Blind Side's 2009 release.
The retired NFL player, whose life inspired the Oscar-winning film, initially filed a petition in the Shelby County probate court on Aug. 14 asking to end his conservatorship with the Tuohys that began in 2004, when he was 18.
Oher told the Tennessee court he was not aware he was under the conservatorship until this past February, alleging the Tuohys tricked him into the legal arrangement by telling him there was virtually no difference between a conservatorship and adoption.
Adding three new attorneys to his legal team this week, Oher is now asking for the Tuohys to make a full accounting of the money earned from the film. The 2004 conservatorship put the Tuohys in charge of Oher's financial decisions, despite his having “no known physical or psychological disabilities” that would more often lead a legal adult to agree to a conservatorship.
Local attorneys in Tennessee have told PEOPLE the arrangement is "puzzling" given adult adoption is an option in the state and that Oher was not just sound of mind, but proved to be a solid student in college. (Conservatorships are often relied upon for people who are physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves.)
Conservators are legally required to file an initial accounting of the individual's finances when the legal arrangement begins. A conservator is then required to make annual filings with the court every year going forward for the person under their care.
“[The Tuohys] have failed to file the first accounting and have failed to timely file a single accounting for the last 19 years,” Oher’s attorneys wrote in a new filing Monday, demanding the Shelby County probate court have the Tuohys file an initial accounting of Oher’s finances within two weeks.
Oher’s attorneys add the Shelby County court never granted the Tuohys an extension for filing the accounting, either, indicating there’s no reason the accountancy were never made over the years.
With no paper trail, Oher's attorneys allege he's been “forced to rely on the verbal assurances from his co-conservators" about his finances.
Since Oher’s request last week for an accounting of his finances and for him to be removed from the conservatorship, his attorneys claim the Tuohys “nevertheless have ignored his request and continue to use his name, likeness, and image,” though they did not specify where.
Attorneys for Oher and the Tuohys did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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Oher alleges the four Tuohy family members — Sean, Leigh Anne and their two children — made $250,000 outright from the movie, according to his petition, in addition to 2.5% in residuals.
The movie went on to make more than $300 million at the box office and continued to make money in distribution in the years after.
Because, as his attorneys claim, the Tuohys never appeared to file an accounting of Oher’s finances, he allegedly “was excluded from knowing the full extent of any contracts negotiated on his behalf by his co-conservators, that he has no knowledge of the income generated through said contracts, and that he has no knowledge of the income generated from the co-conservators’ use of his name, likeness, and image.”
“Instead of protecting that asset and ensuring that [Oher] received the full benefits therefrom, the co-conservators [Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy] took this asset and have used it to enrich themselves at [Oher’s] expense,” his attorneys wrote this week.
Through their attorney, the Tuohys have denied they made millions off The Blind Side.
A source close to the film told PEOPLE last week the Tuohys have received approximately $700,000 total in rights, payments and profits, which was intended to be divided between the family members — Sean, Leigh Anne, their two biological children and Oher.
Meanwhile, Sean Tuohy said last week that Oher’s allegations were “insulting” and left the family “devastated.” He said the family is willing to end Oher’s conservatorship, which he alleged was a route they chose instead of adoption in order to circumvent NCAA rules at the time.
After being placed in the conservatorship in 2004, Oher went on to play football at the University of Mississippi and was later drafted to the NFL in 2009. The Blind Side was released later that year.
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