Oher, whose life inspired 'The Blind Side,' filed a legal petition this month asking to released from a conservatorship he says he didn't fully understand
Attorneys for Michael Oher filed three subpoenas Tuesday in his ongoing conservatorship petition, to request documents from the production company behind the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side along with the family’s talent agency and his Memphis school system.
The legal filings come two weeks after the retired NFL star, whose life inspired the 2009 film, filed a petition in Shelby County, Tenn., requesting to be released from his conservatorship and accused his conservators, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, of misrepresenting the arrangement as an adoption, along with siphoning millions of potential profits from his likeness over nearly two decades.
Oher, now 37, also asked for the Tuohys to provide an accounting of his earnings from The Blind Side, which his attorneys alleged they never filed with the state.
On Tuesday, attorneys for Oher requested Alcon Entertainment, which produced The Blind Side, to provide “all documents and communications” of payments to the Tuohy family relating to Oher, their own appearances, their contractual agreements regarding the film and receipts for payments regarding books written by both Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Leigh Anne and Sean, both 63, co-authored In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, while Leigh Anne also wrote Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving after Oher's conservatorship started in 2004.
According to the three new legal filings, reviewed by PEOPLE, Oher’s attorneys also requested Creative Artist Agency hand over records relating to “contracts and contract negotiations, contract amendments, agreements, accountancy, financial records, payments made, and notices concerning The Blind Side movie or book and/or payments made to the Tuohy Family for any reason.”
In addition, Memphis Shelby County Schools were also subpoenaed to produce documents received by the Tuohys as well as any documents related to Oher and his time in the school system. Oher graduated from Briarcrest Christian School in 2005 before attending the University of Mississippi.
Oher was placed in the conservatorship with the Tuohys when he was 18 years old despite a judge noting that he had “no known physical or psychological disabilities” that often lead to a legal adult to agree to be put in a conservatorship.
Sean Tuohy said earlier this month 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.
According to the 2004 agreement, reviewed by PEOPLE, the Tuohys, both 63, “have all powers of attorney to act on [Oher’s] behalf” and that he “shall not be allowed to enter into any contracts or bind himself without the direct approval of his conservators.”
Longtime conservatorship attorneys in Tennessee told PEOPLE this month that the arrangement was uncommon and “puzzling,” especially given Oher had no mental or physical disabilities. Attorneys who spoke with PEOPLE also found it strange the family had not filed any annual accountancy for Oher’s finances, which is required under Tennessee law at the beginning of a conservatorship and every year afterwards.
Last week, Oher’s attorneys demanded the Tuohys file an initial accounting of Oher’s finances with the Shelby County probate court by early September. Oher’s attorneys said in the filing that he “has been kept in the dark” about his earnings from The Blind Side for the past 19 years because of the Tuohys’ failure to file annual accountings.
Alcon Entertainment, however, has denied that the Tuohys received "millions" from The Blind Side, and said in a statement to PEOPLE that Oher and the four members of the Tuohy family were collectively paid approximately $767,000 in payments delivered through their talent agency for The Blind Side.
The deal for the Tuohy’s and Michael Oher’s life rights "was consistent with the marketplace at that time for the rights of relatively unknown individuals," Alcon said in the statement. "Therefore, it did not include significant payouts in the event of the film’s success. As a result, the notion that the Tuohys were paid millions of dollars by Alcon to the detriment of Michael Oher is false."
Oher’s attorneys alleged he “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 last week.
Attorneys for the Tuohys have not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment on recent filings.
Oher has since told audiences at recent book signings that he’s unable to comment on the ongoing legal battle.
Oher, a former Super Bowl champion who’s now retired and married with four children, went on to write two memoirs about his life – the latest of which, When Your Back's Against the Wall: Fame, Football, and Lessons Learned through a Lifetime of Adversity was released earlier this month and describes a complicated relationship with the movie.
“There has been so much created from The Blind Side that I am grateful for, which is why you might find it as a shock that the experience surrounding the story has also been a large source of some of my deepest hurt and pain over the past fourteen years.”
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