Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr. attempted to shed light on his family’s dynamic with Michael Oher, suggesting that the football player who inspired The Blind Side knew about Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy being his conservators before this year.
“I want to preface this by saying I loved Mike at 16, I love [Michael] now at 37, and I’ll love him at 67,” SJ began during an appearance on Barstool Radio on Monday, August 14. “If he says he learned that in February, I find that hard to believe. [I went back to] our family group texts … to see what things have been said. And there’s things back in 2020, 2021 [that] were like, you know, ‘If you guys give me this much, then I won’t go public with things.’ And so I don’t know if that’s true. I think everyone learned in the past year about the conservatorship stuff because of Britney Spears so maybe that’s the case.”
Earlier on Monday, ESPN reported that Oher is taking legal action against Leigh Anne and Sean, alleging that they never legally adopted him and instead convinced him to sign a document giving them legal authority to make business decisions for him in 2004. Us Weekly has obtained the 14-page petition, in which Oher is seeking a share of the profits — which he alleges are in the millions — made from the 2009 movie.
Both dad Sean and little brother SJ denied making millions off of The Blind Side, with Sean telling The Daily Memphian on Monday that “everybody in the family got an equal share” of $14,000 when The Blind Side author Michael Lewis wrote the book that would go on to inspire the film. SJ estimated that he’s received an additional $60,000 to $70,000 “over the course of the last four or five years” after the movie continued to make money.
“Man, if I had $2 million in my bank account, it would be in my email signature and say, ‘Signed, SJ Tuohy, multi-millionaire,’” SJ told the Barstool hosts. “I get it, why he’s mad. I completely understand. It stinks that it’ll play out on a very public stage. … You will never hear me say anything bad about Michael Oher in any capacity other than I’m upset that he feels the way that he does. I think some of the things that were mentioned in the probate or book or whatever I don’t necessarily agree with and or remember happening like that.”
Oher began living with the Tuohy family in high school after years in the foster care system. When asked when the relationship between his family and Oher started to deteriorate, SJ claimed there wasn’t “one moment,” but things changed when Oher “stopped playing” football after several seasons in the NFL, and “everything kind of fell down.”
“I don’t know the exact time — that’d be a question for him. There obviously is a time because you can go back and look at social media posts from 2015, 2016, [and] 2017 and everything’s fine and dandy,” SJ said. “I think it builds up over time for him. And it’s hard.”
Acknowledging that The Blind Side “made a lot of money,” SJ said he hopes Oher “gets everything that’s entitled to him legally,” but doesn’t “think it’s going to come in the form of the ESPN story.”
“Obviously, he’s the star of it. There is no story without him. He is the star of everything he’s done in his life,” SJ said before bringing up the SAG-AFTRA strike. “The same thing these writers and actors are pissed about now — it’s not crazy different. He wants more royalties. … Hollywood is going to screw people.”
SJ went on to claim that he last saw Oher in 2021 and was texting him “throughout the year, but not in the last couple of months, which makes sense now.” SJ concluded that he was “accusatory” of his parents “to some extent” when Oher first made his claims, but now believes “everything is documented” when it comes to the Tuohy family’s finances.
Oher briefly addressed the lawsuit as it made headlines on Monday, sharing in a statement to The New York Post: “I am disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit today. This is a difficult situation for my family and me. I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time. For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment.”