Aaron, 39 — who played Oher, 37, in The Blind Side — was asked about social media users who’ve suggested that Bullock, 59, should return the Oscar she won for her performance in the film. “To make a statement like that doesn’t make any sense,” Aaron told TMZ Sports on Wednesday, August 16. “Sandra Bullock didn’t have anything to do with the real story that we’re reading as of right now.”
The Blind Side hit theaters in 2009, but the movie has been back in the news this week because Oher filed a lawsuit against the Tuohys claiming that they never adopted him. In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Oher alleged that Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy convinced him to sign a document in 2004 that made them his conservators, giving them legal authority to make business deals in his name.
Oher also claimed that he received no payment for the movie based on his life or the 2006 book by Michael Lewis that partially inspired the film. He is now asking the court to terminate the conservatorship and prohibit the Tuohys from using his name and likeness. He also wants the Tuohys to pay him his “fair share of profits,” plus “unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.”
After the lawsuit was made public, Sean, 63, claimed that his family pursued a conservatorship rather than adoption because they were told it was the only way Oher could attend the University of Mississippi.
“They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family,” Sean told the Daily Memphian on Monday, August 14. “I sat Michael down and told him, ‘If you’re planning to go to Ole Miss — or even considering Ole Miss — we think you have to be part of the family. This would do that, legally.’ We contacted lawyers who had told us that we couldn’t adopt over the age of 18; the only thing we could do was to have a conservatorship.”
Sean went on to claim that no one in the Tuohy family received payment for The Blind Side movie but earned a small share from the sale of Lewis’ book. “Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000 each,” Sean said. “We were never offered money; we never asked for money.”
Meanwhile, Sean and Leigh Anne’s biological son, Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr., said on Monday that he has earned $60,000 to $70,000 “over the course of the last four or five years” from the movie but denied that anyone in his family has earned millions from the project.
“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, 30, said during an interview on Barstool Radio. “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.”
One day later, a lawyer for the Tuohys claimed that Oher asked the family for $15 million before filing his lawsuit.
“The Tuohys opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support and, most of all, unconditional love,” attorney Marty Singer told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, August 15. “They have consistently treated him like a son and one of their three children. His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”
In a statement, the Tuohys claimed they were always “upfront about how a conservatorship was established to assist with Mr. Oher’s needs, ranging from getting him health insurance and obtaining a driver’s license to helping with college admissions.”
The family also alleged that Oher earned “an equal cut of every penny” earned from The Blind Side but refused to accept his share. They claimed they deposited that money into a trust on his behalf, adding that they think the lawsuit is being used as “as a cynical attempt to drum up attention in the middle of his latest book tour.”