The production company that financed the movie “The Blind Side” said that its subjects, Michael Oher and members of the Tuohy family, were collectively paid approximately $767,000 delivered through their talent.”
In addition to defending the film’s authenticity, Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove said 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.”
“Therefore, a statement from Alcon Entertainment said, “It did not include significant payouts in the event of the film’s success.” Johnson and Kosove added, “As a result, the notion that the Tuohys were paid millions of dollars by Alcon to the detriment of Michael Oher is false.”
Oher, in a court filing on Aug. 14, said that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy had misrepresented what a conservatorship was — he said they represented it as an adoption — when they had him agree to it at age 18.
He also claimed that the Tuohys and their two biological children “collectively received millions of dollars and Michael received nothing for his rights” to the film.
Michael Lewis, who wrote the book the movie was based on, said that despite claims by Oher, no one made millions of dollars from the movie
Lewis, in talking to The Washington Post, responded to accusations by Oher that the Tuohy family — who took Oher in when he was homeless during high school — schemed to hoard profits from the film adapted from Lewis’ book.
“Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system,” Lewis said. “Michael Oher should join the writers strike. It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets.”
Oher and the Tuohys were the subjects of the blockbuster film that told the story of Oher’s life from just before the Tuohy family took him into their home until he was drafted into the NFL.
In the legal filing, Oher alleged the Tuohy family promised to adopt him, but instead used a conservatorship to avoid paying him any profits from the movie. The Tuohys were required to file an accounting of Oher’s finances every year since 2004 under Tennessee law.
“What I feel really sad about is I watched the whole thing up close,” Lewis said. “They showered him with resources and love. That he’s suspicious of them is breathtaking. The state of mind one has to be in to do that — I feel sad for him.”
Tennessee law says a conservatorship is “a proceeding in which a court removes the decision-making powers and duties, in whole or in part, in a least restrictive manner, from a person with a disability who lacks capacity to make decisions in one or more important areas and places responsibility for one or more of those decisions in a conservator or co-conservators.”
The Tuohy family’s attorney, Martin Singer, said the Tuohys established the conservatorship because Oher was over the age of 18.
Oher claimed that he did not know about the conservatorship until February of this year.
However, according to TMZ, Oher was aware of the conservatorship and mentioned it in a book he wrote in 2011.
Oher wrote “I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond” — a memoir that was released in 2011 — and specifically talked about the legal relationship he had with the family.
“It kind of felt like a formality, as I’d been a part of the family for more than a year at that point. Since I was already over the age of eighteen and considered an adult by the state of Tennessee, Sean and Leigh Anne would be named as my ‘legal conservators,’” Oher wrote.
“They explained to me that it means pretty much the exact same thing as ‘adoptive parents,’ but that the laws were just written in a way that took my age into account. Honestly, I didn’t care what it was called. I was just happy that no one could argue that we weren’t legally what we already knew was real: We were a family.”
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