The legal battle between the main characters in the inspirational 2009 film “The Blind Side” is getting more tangled.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy — the couple who took in former NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher when he was a teenager — allege in a lawsuit that Oher tried to extort $15 million from them.
The battle between Oher and Tuohys came to light in August when the former footballer told a Tennessee estimates that he contrary to the film’s portrayal by the Tuohy family and that the family allegedly made millions from the story.
Now, the Tuohy family claims in legal documents filed Monday that they were threatened by Oher. The family claims Oher sent them text messages demanding a $15 million payout or he would take his allegations to the press and social media.
In the legal filings, the Tuohys are requesting that the court reject Oher’s request for a temporary restraining order, arguing that his case will not succeed because the couple is not involved in the commercial use of his name, likeness or image.
Lawyers for the Tuohys also claim that Oher began demanding money from them after his professional football career ended.
“Around that time, perhaps because he was no longer making significant money as a professional athlete, Mr. Oher became increasingly estranged from the Tuohys, mistakenly believing that they had not paid him the money he owed,” the suit alleges .
“He later began demanding money through text messages and emails,” the filing also claims.
Oher’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Termination of conservatorship
In a group of texts included in the applications, Oher allegedly wrote: “It was 10 million now I want 15 million after tax.” He also threatened to speak to the press about his allegations and texted: “If something is not resolved [sic] this friday i will greet and tell the world how i was robbed of my supposed to be [sic] parents. It’s the deadline.”
“Think what it’s going to look like when this comes out,” read another text allegedly from Oher included in the filings.
Earlier this year, Oher, 37, petitioned a Tennessee judge to revoke the 2004 conservatorship the Tuohys created when he was a teenager, arguing he was old enough to handle his own business affairs. The Tuohys “have falsely and publicly represented themselves as the adoptive parents of Michael,” the petition alleged.
A judge in Septemberwhich allowed the Tuohys to control Oher’s finances.
In “The Blind Side,” Leigh Anne Tuohy, 63, was portrayed by Sandra Bullock, while Sean Tuohy, 64, was played by Tim McGraw. The film was based on a book from 2006 author Michael Lewis.