November 30, 2023

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Michael O’Hare lawsuit: Judge ends Tuohy’s guardianship of former NFL player portrayed in ‘The Blind Side’

Michael O’Hare lawsuit: Judge ends Tuohy’s guardianship of former NFL player portrayed in ‘The Blind Side’

Nick Wass/AP

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher sits on the beach during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Baltimore, Sunday, October 24, 2010.


A Tennessee judge signed an order Friday ending Sean and Lee Ann Tuohy’s guardianship of Michael Oher, a month after the former NFL player accused the couple of publicly presenting themselves as foster parents and using him for financial gain.

O’Hare, whose life story was depicted in the Oscar-winning film “The Blind Side,” filed a petition last month in a Tennessee court claiming the Toohes told him they would adopt him, but instead filed a guardianship that kept millions of dollars from him.

Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomez issued an order terminating the conservatorship, but the case has not yet been dismissed. There are still several outstanding issues in O’Hare’s lawsuit, including payments and accusations of false signatures.

CNN has reached out to lawyers for Oher and Tuohys.

O’Hare’s petition asks the court to order the Tooheys “to show cause for failure to discharge their duties required to file regular accounts or to act in the best interests of their ward, Michael J. O’Hare.”

In their response to O’Hare’s petition, the Tohais said: In court documents filed in a Tennessee court They “vehemently deny” O’Hare’s claims that they are “enriching themselves at the expense of their ward.” [Oher]”.

They say O’Hare never requested an end to the conservatorship, either verbally or in writing, and “they have always acted in O’Hare’s best interests.”

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Shortly before he turned 11 in 1996, O’Hare became a Tennessee resident, and soon after began living on the streets.

A friend’s father helped get him into school where he started playing soccer. He had to take buses and walk for more than an hour to get to school, according to the petition.

During the summer after his junior year, O’Hare began staying with Sean and Lee Ann Toohey occasionally.

“While the other parents of Michael’s classmates saw Michael as just a sweet, needy child, governors Sean Tuohy and Lee Ann Tuohy saw something else: a naive young man whose athletic talent could be exploited for their own benefit,” the petition says.

The petition alleges that the Tooheys did not take legal action in juvenile court to assume legal custody of O’Hare, but invited him to stay at their home frequently and took him on shopping trips.

In July 2004, after O’Hare had turned 18 but was still a student, the Tooheys offered Michael to live with them, the petition says. Shortly after he moved in, the Toohis gave him legal papers they believed were necessary for the adoption, O’Hare alleges.

The papers demanded that the trustees have “full control over Michael O’Hare’s ability to negotiate or enter into any contract, even though he was over 18 years of age and had no diagnosed physical or psychiatric disabilities,” the petition said.

O’Hare said in the petition that the Toohes never informed him that they would have “absolute control over all of his contracts” and that the couple “falsely and publicly represented themselves as Michael’s adoptive parents, and have continued to the date of filing of this petition.”

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Around September 2006, the Tuohys negotiated contracts for the film “The Blind Side” based on the book about O’Hare’s life story for themselves and their two other children through the Creative Artists Agency. Each person will receive “$225,000 plus 2.5% of all ‘identified net proceeds'” contingent on O’Hare’s signature.

There is another contract dating from April 2007 “allegedly signed by Michael O’Hare” in which O’Hare gave his name, likeness, voice, etc. to the film studio. However, O’Hare claims that he did not receive any money from the film.

O’Hare believes the signature on the contract looks similar to his own, but he is not sure if it is a forgery because he said he “did not at any time willingly or knowingly sign” a document stating that he would be waiving rights to his name, image, etc.

in Their response was submitted to the Tuohys court Let’s assume that all the money received from the film was divided equally between Shawn, Lee Anne, their two children, and O’Hare – 20% each. The Toohis said O’Hare’s share had been paid to him. They were given first, paid taxes for a while but wrote O’Hare a check for his full 20% share.

The petition asks the Toohes to provide an accounting under oath for funds owned by O’Hare that should have been paid to him.

Oher started 47 consecutive games at Ole Miss and was named an All-American in 2008.

The Baltimore Ravens selected O’Hare with the 23rd pick of the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft and the 6-foot-5, 309-pound lineman made an immediate impact, earning second place in the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Vote.

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He played both left and right tackle for Baltimore for five seasons, helping them win the Super Bowl in 2013. During his NFL career, he started 110 games over eight seasons with Baltimore, the Tennessee Titans, and the Carolina Panthers.

O’Hare earned more than $34 million during his NFL career, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports contracts.