Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Tuohy have filed a response to Michael Oher‘s lawsuit. In the new legal documents, which ET obtained, the Tuohys deny Michael’s claim that they lied about adopting him and tricked him into making them his conservators in order to profit off of his story.
Rather, in the Tuohys’ response, the couple claims “they never intended to, and in fact never did, take any assumed legal custody” of Michael when they took him in as a teenager. Further, they “vehemently deny” that they told Michael “that they intended to legally adopt him.”
Even so, the Tuohys admit that they “occasionally referred to [Michael] as a son” and have “always felt [he] was like a son.” However, the Tuohys alleged that the word “son” was used “in the colloquial sense.”
“They have never intended that reference to be viewed with legal implication,” the docs read, adding that they “vehemently deny” that the use of the word “son” caused Michael “any irreparable harm, loss, either past present or future or damages.”
As for why the Tuohys went the conservatorship route in Michael’s case, the couple claims that it all began when the then-teen was presented with the “opportunity to play college football.”
“There was never an intent to adopt him,” the docs read. “When it became the petitioner could not consider going to the University of Mississippi as a result of living with the respondents, the NCAA made it clear that the only way he could attend the Ole Miss [was] if he was part of the Tuohy family in some fashion. Conservatorship was the tool chosen to accomplish this goal.”
Michael’s claim that he only found out about the conservation is February 2023 is “demonstratively false,” the Tuohys allege, citing content in Michael’s 2011 book, I Beat the Odds, as alleged proof.
Now, the couple says they are “ready, willing, and able to terminate the conservatorship by consent at any time.”
When it comes to the allegations related to the film The Blind Side, which was based on Michael’s story as it was told in Michael Lewis’ book of the same name, the Tuohys claim they “never negotiated any contract with 20th Century Fox or others.”
“Any arrangements regarding the movie The Blind Side were done and through Michael Lewis, author of the book The Blind Side,” the docs read,” adding that Sean, Leigh Anne, their biological children Collins Tuohy and Sean Tuohy Jr., and Michael all “received a portion of the money paid to Michael Lewis which was something less than $225,000.”
Sean and Leigh Anne also claim that they “never signed any contract” for Michael and “vehemently deny” his allegation that they forged his signature.
“When Mr. Lewis was in the process of selling The Blind Side the family met regarding the distribution of any proceeds from the movie,” the docs read. “The petitioner was likewise included in this meeting. All of the Tuohy family including the petitioner agreed to this arrangement where each party would get 20 percent of the proceeds paid.”
The Tuohys additionally “deny that there is any need for injunctive relief,” arguing against Michael’s claim that they “generated millions of dollars” off of his story.
ET previously spoke to Tuohy family attorney Steve Farese, Sr., who said the couple is handling the drama “like a death in the family.”
The latest update in the case comes the month after Michael filed subpoenas against producers of The Blind Side requesting that they hand over “all documents and communications” of payments to the Tuohys.
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