Blind Side Author: Here's Where the Money Went

Michael Oher's suspicion of his caretakers is 'breathtaking,' says Michael Lewis
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2023 7:57 AM CDT
Blind Side Author: Here's Where the Money Went
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, Oct. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

The author of The Blind Side is standing with the couple at the center of the book, now being sued by the football star they took into their home and their lives. Michael Lewis tells the Washington Post that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy haven't excluded Michael Oher from millions of dollars earned through the Oscar-winning 2009 film based on Lewis' book, as Oher alleges. Firstly, he says no one associated with the book made millions. "Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system," says Lewis, a childhood friend of Sean Tuohy. "Michael Oher should join the writers strike. It's outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys' pockets."

Oher claims he was tricked into a conservatorship, which gave the couple legal authority to make business deals. Per Deadline, he claims the Tuohys and their two biological children each received $225,000 from the movie along with 2.5% of net proceeds, while he was left out. Lewis claims he and the whole Tuohy family received about $350,000 each from movie profits after taxes and fees. He says the couple shared royalties with Oher, but he started declining his royalty checks. Lewis believes the Tuohys opted to place Oher's share of royalties in a trust fund for Oher's son. "They showered him with resources and love. That he's suspicious of them is breathtaking," Lewis adds.

"Michael got every dime, every dime he had coming," according to the Tuohys' lawyer, Randall Fishman. He tells USA Today that the couple "never needed his money" as Sean Tuohy "sold his company for $220 million." Still, "Tennessee law reserves conservatorships for people with mental or physical disabilities who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves," the Post reports, with an expert noting Oher shouldn't have qualified. As Oher points out, the film falsely portrays him as having intellectual disabilities. Sean Tuohy has claimed the conservatorship was put in place to allow Oher, then 18, to attend Ole Miss, the couple's alma mater. The Tuohys now plan to end the conservatorship, per USA Today. (More Michael Oher stories.)

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