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Family in Michael Oher drama wants to end conservatorship, lawyers say

The Tuohy family wants the conservatorship for Michael Oher to end, their lawyers said Wednesday. Oher filed a petition against the family in court Monday.

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy want to end former NFL player Michael Oher's conservatorship, their lawyers said Wednesday.

Lawyer Randall Fishman said Oher mentioned the Tuohys being conservators for him three times in his 2011 book, "I Beat The Odds: From Homeless, To The Blindside." The Tuohys’ lawyers said Oher knew he had not been adopted despite the former player's allegations in Tennessee court earlier this week.

The family intends to enter into a consent order to end the conservatorship, Fishman said.

The family’s attorney also said the Tuohys and Oher had been estranged about a decade. Steve Farese said Oher had become "more and more vocal and more and more threatening" over the past decade or so, and this is "devastating for the family."


A lawyer for Oher did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Oher filed a petition in Shelby County court Monday accusing the Tuohys of lying to him by having him sign papers to make them his conservators instead of his adoptive parents nearly 20 years ago.

The 37-year-old former NFL lineman is seeking a full accounting of his assets as his life story became a box office smash hit. He says he’s received nothing from the movie, "The Blind Side." He claimed the Tuohys falsely represented themselves as his adoptive parents and said he discovered this past February the conservatorship was not the arrangement he thought it was.

Michael Singer, another attorney who represents the Tuohys, said Tuesday Oher threatened to "plant" a negative story in the press about the family unless they paid him $15 million. Singer denied the allegations leveled against the Tuohy family in Oher’s petition to end their conservatorship, calling them "hurtful and absurd."

Singer added that the family has been "upfront" about how and why the conservatorship was established and that they "will never oppose it in any way" if Oher chooses to terminate it.

The conservatorship paperwork was filed months after Oher turned 18 in May 2004. Oher accused the family of never taking legal action to assume custody of him from the Tennessee Department of Human Services before he turned 18. Though, he says he was forced to call Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy "mom" and "dad."

Oher says he was "falsely advised" that it would be called a conservatorship because he was already 18, but that adoption was the intent.


Fishman said the couple didn’t adopt Oher because the conservatorship was the quickest way to satisfy the NCAA’s concerns the family wasn’t just steering him to Ole Miss to play football. It is the Tuohys' alma mater.

As for the proceeds from the film, the couple said agents negotiated a small advance for them from the production company for the film. They said that included a "tiny percentage of net profits" divided equally among a group that included Oher. Attorneys said they estimated Oher and the family received $100,000 apiece, and the couple paid taxes on the player’s portion.

Fishman said "Michael got every dime, every dime he had coming."

The Tuohys said the conservatorship was set up to help Oher with health insurance, get a driver’s license and be admitted to college. In Tennessee, a conservatorship removes power from a person to make decisions for himself. It’s often used in the case of a medical condition or a disability.

Oher’s petition said the conservatorship was approved "despite the fact that he was over 18 years old and had no diagnosed physical or psychological disabilities."

Oher was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. He also played for the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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