‘The Blind Side’ Author Defends Family From Accusations They Hid Film’s Profits From Michael Oher
The inspirational and supposedly true story chronicled in the movie The Blind Side took a surprising and very sad turn in the last week, when the film’s real-life subject, Michael Oher, filed to end his legal relationship with his “adopted” parents, the Tuohys. According to author Michael Lewis’ book The Blind Side — which then became the basis for the movie of the same name starring Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy — Oher was a troubled kid raised in the foster system, who was supported and even adopted by the Tuohy family, who gave him a place to live and helped him find success on the football field.
Oher eventually went to college, and then had a long career playing the NFL. But he now claims that the Tuohys deceived him when they claimed they adopted him. He alleges they instead entering into a “conservatorship” which he claims gave them control over his finances — and thus his profits from The Blind Side. In court, Oher is now trying to end that conservatorship, and demanding that the Tuohys hand over any money from the The Blind Side that they did not share.
But in a new interview in the Washington Post, The Blind Side author Michael Lewis sides with the Tuohys, and says that Oher “should be mad at the Hollywood studio system” instead of the family.
“It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets,” Lewis said.
In the Post article, Lewis lays out all of the money he says he and the Tuoys received for the rights to The Blind Side...
Lewis said that ultimately after agent fees and taxes, he and the Tuohy family received around $350,000 each from the profits of the movie. Lewis said the Tuohys planned to share the royalties among the family members, including Oher, but Oher began declining his royalty checks, Lewis said. Lewis said he believed the Tuohy family had deposited Oher’s share in a trust fund for Oher’s son.
Lewis also claimed he has been so suspicious about how little money he personally made off The Blind Side, despite its worldwide grosses of over $300 million in theaters, that “he had called his own representatives at Creative Artists Agency over the years, following the movie’s success, asking about his share of the profits.”
He also noted that from his perspective as a writer observing and chronicling the family’s treatment of Oher, he believed the Tuohys “showered him with resources and love” and that Oher is now “suspicious of them is breathtaking. The state of mind one has to be in to do that — I feel sad for him.”
Here were the Tuohys’ lawyers’ response to Oher’s accusations, in which they claim the family has no issues whatsoever ending the conservatorship.