MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In 2004, when Michael Oher was a coveted faculty soccer recruit, the 18-year-old excessive schooler agreed in courtroom to permit the Memphis couple he lived with to make choices for him about signing contracts and any medical points.

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy had taken in Oher, who had been within the Tennessee foster care system and at one level lived on the streets. The judge-approved settlement, referred to as a conservatorship, was made with the permission of Oher’s organic mom and inked about two months earlier than Oher signed to play offensive line for Ole Miss, the place Sean Tuohy had been a standout basketball participant.

Nineteen years later, Oher has requested for the settlement to finish in a probate courtroom submitting accusing the Tuohys of enriching themselves at his expense and mendacity to him by having him signal papers making them his conservators reasonably than his adoptive mother and father. Oher, who performed eight NFL seasons, claims the Tuohys by no means took authorized motion to imagine custody earlier than he turned 18, although he was advised to name them “Mom” and “Dad.”

The demand by Oher, whose life story was become the Oscar-nominated movie “The Blind Side,” has led to scrutiny of the Tuohys and of the agreement itself, with one expert questioning how a judge approved it.

“There are a lot of not just unusual, but shocking and maybe never before seen things, for even attorneys experienced in this area,” stated Victoria Haneman, a professor of trusts and estates on the Creighton College Faculty of Regulation.

Now 37, Oher seeks a full accounting of property, contemplating his life story produced thousands and thousands of {dollars}, although he says he obtained nothing from the film. He accuses the Tuohys of falsely representing themselves as his adoptive mother and father, saying he solely found in February that the conservatorship supplied him no familial relationship to them.

The Tuohys stated they liked Oher like a son and supported him when he lived with them and when he was in faculty. They’re devastated by accusations by Oher, who has been estranged from them for a few decade, their legal professionals say.

In Tennessee, a conservatorship removes energy from an individual to make choices for themselves, and it’s typically used within the case of a medical situation or incapacity. However Oher’s conservatorship was permitted “despite the fact that he was over 18 years old and had no diagnosed physical or psychological disabilities,” his petition stated.

The Tuohys stated they arrange the conservatorship to assist Oher with medical health insurance, a driver’s license and being admitted to varsity. Their legal professionals stated in a information convention Wednesday that the Tuohys by no means obtained cash from Oher’s NFL contracts or shoe offers and so they break up cash from “The Blind Side,” which earned the couple, their two kids and Oher an estimated $100,000 apiece.

The Tuohys didn’t as an alternative undertake Oher as a result of the conservatorship was the quickest option to fulfill the NCAA’s issues that the Tuohys weren’t merely steering a gifted athlete to Ole Miss, lawyer Randall Fishman stated.

“There was one thing to accomplish, and that was to make him part of the family, so that the NCAA would be satisfied because Sean would have been a booster of the university,” Fishman said.

The Tuohys’ lawyers said they intend to end the conservatorship and that the accounting Oher asked for would not be difficult.

Still, how the agreement was reached raised concerns for Haneman, the Creighton professor.

“I am frankly floored that any judge allowed them to use the conservatorship in this way, you know, with the purpose of circumventing NCAA rules,” she stated.

Haneman also questioned why the conservatorship didn’t include a medical affidavit showing disability, or the appointment of a guardian ad litem who would protect Oher and provide an “independent set of eyes.” Both are typically part of conservatorships, she said.

Haneman said there were other legal options available, such as power of attorney, that would not have stripped Oher of his “legal capacity.”

“At the end of the day, you do not put an adult in a conservatorship because they need help with a driver’s license or college applications,” Haneman said.

Fishman said the medical affidavit wasn’t needed because Oher didn’t have mental or physical disabilities. Also, Oher had no assets to be accounted for, and the Tuohys were only made “conservator of the person.”

“People have been saying, ‘Well, you’ve got to have some kind of issue to be a ward in a conservatorship,’” Fishman said Thursday. “That’s just not true. He just needed some guidance and that’s why the court did it.”

Fishman said the guardian issue was waived because Oher was 18 and his mother consented.

Another Tuohy attorney, Martin Singer, said in a statement that profit participation checks and studio accounting statements support the assertions that Oher received money from the film.

When Oher refused to cash the checks, the statement said, the Tuohys deposited Oher’s share into a trust account for his son.

The couple said agents negotiated the advance for the Tuohys and Oher from the production company for “The Blind Side,” based on a book written by Sean Tuohy’s friend Michael Lewis.

Lewis told The Washington Post that no one involved in the book received millions of dollars. Regarding money made off the profits from the film, which raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, Lewis said that he and the Tuohy family each received around $350,000 after taxes and agent fees.

“It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works, but the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets,” Lewis told the newspaper in an interview published Wednesday.

People depicted in biopics typically do not make a lot of money because they have little bearing on a movie’s success, said Julie Shapiro, director of the Entertainment and Media Law Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

“Most often, it’s the actors, director and screenwriters who determine the financial success of a project,” Shapiro said. Studios do not need to acquire someone’s “life rights” to tell a story. But they often do it to prevent lawsuits, she said.

The petition by Oher, who has never been a fan of the movie about his life, asks that the Tuohys be sanctioned and pay damages.

Some have questioned why the Tuohys didn’t simply adopt Oher as an adult.

“There’s no really clear answer as to what the legal obstacle was for them to complete the adoption,” Haneman stated. “They did say (Wednesday) that it was a timing issue, but that timing issue would not have prevented them from completing the adoption while he was at Ole Miss.”

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