Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy shared screenshots of alleged text messages sent to them by Oher in which he calls them "thieves" and demands they send him $15 million
The story that inspired the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side took another dramatic turn Monday, as Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy accused Michael Oher of extorting them for millions of dollars and threatening them if they did not send him money.
In a legal filing Monday, attorneys for Sean, 64, and Leigh Anne, 63, shared screenshots of alleged text messages sent to them by Oher, 37, in which he calls them "thieves" and demands they send him upwards of $15 million or else he'd go public with their dispute over the financial earnings from the 2009 film.
In a legal response Monday, the Tuohys said Oher “should be denied” a motion for a temporary injunction in the case, that the family does not owe him more money and claimed that the now-retired NFL star has repeatedly threatened Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy with “menacing” text messages and emails that demanded millions.
In an attached exhibit Monday, the Tuohys’ attorneys shared screenshots of some of the texts they say Oher used to allegedly extort the family.
“If something isn’t resolved this Friday, I’m going to go ahead and tell the world, how I was robbed by my suppose to be [sic] parents. That’s the deadline,” one alleged text from Oher reads.
“It was 10 million now I want 15 after taxes,” another alleged text reads.
The Tuohy family did not include their responses to Oher in the screenshots submitted in Monday's filings.
Oher did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment about the filing. A rep for the Tuohys pointed PEOPLE to the court documents when asked for comment.
“Needless to say, the menacing demands were shocking and hurtful to the Tuohys, who had always treated Mr. Oher with kindness and love,” the Tuohy family’s attorneys write in Monday’s filing.
Oher's recent filings have disputed that sentiment, however.
Oher said in August that he recently discovered he was never legally adopted by the Tuohy family and that he believes the family knowingly pocketed money owed to him from the film.
Oher claimed he only learned that he'd been placed into a conservatorship with the Tuohys when he was 18 years old earlier this year, a discovery that his attorneys described as crushing to the now father of two.
"Mike didn't grow up with a stable family life,” his attorney J. Gerard Stranch IV told ESPN in August. “When the Tuohy family told Mike they loved him and wanted to adopt him, it filled a void that had been with him his entire life. Discovering that he wasn't actually adopted devastated Mike and wounded him deeply."
The conservatorship had given the Tuohys permanent control of Oher's financial and medical decisions — a "puzzling" legal action typically reserved for adults who cannot medically make decisions for themselves and require a guardian, legal experts previously told PEOPLE.
The conservatorship was terminated in September, however Oher still demanded the family both file an accounting of his earnings from The Blind Side film and pay him an alleged remaining sum of money he believes he's still owed. He has also called a decision to split profits equally between himself, the Tuoyhs and their two children unfair.
His Nov. 30 petition claims, “Without Mr. Oher, there would have been no movie. The Tuohy had it backwards: 80% of the proceeds should have gone to Petitioner and 20% to the Tuohy family”
Despite being legally required to by the court, the Tuohys had never filed an accounting of Oher’s finances since he agreed to be placed under the conservatorship in 2004.
When they finally did so last month, the Tuohys claimed they had transferred $138,311.01 to Oher in ten installments beginning in 2007. The family’s accounting claimed that its final payment of $8,480,10 was paid to Oher on April 17, 2023. The couple says in Monday's filings that after Oher began refusing payments, they deposted his funds into a bank account in his son Michael Oher Jr's name.
The movie went on to make more than $330 million at the box office, plus more as the film gained even more notoriety when it was nominated for Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards and Sandra Bullock won the Oscar Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne.
Oher later filed an objection to the Tuohys' accounting and claimed the documents they filed last month are "contradictory, confusing, fake in material ways, and wholly inadequate to account for the assets."
Since Oher’s initial legal filing in August which publicly revealed that he was not actually adopted, the Tuohys have defended their public presentation of their relationship with the former NFL star.
Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian in August that he and Leigh Anne were “devastated” by Oher’s public accusations and legal filings, saying “it’s upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children.”
He also called Oher’s allegations that the family siphoned money owed to him from The Blind Side “insulting.”
Since Oher’s initial filing in August, attorneys for the Tuohys have claimed the couple never meant to describe their relationship with Oher as his literal adoptive parents — despite doing so for years publicly, including in Leigh Anne’s published books.
“The use of the term ‘adopted’ was always meant in its colloquial sense to describe the family relationship the Tuohys felt with Mr. Oher,” the family’s attorneys wrote in Monday’s filing, adding that “it was never meant as a legal term.”
In a September filing, the Tuohys claimed there was "never an intent to adopt" Oher into their family and alleged the conservatorship was arranged as a way to skirt NCAA recruiting rules so that Oher could attend the University of Mississippi, Sean Tuohy’s alma mater, to play college football without violating any eligibility rules.
Oher was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009 and went on to play eight seasons in the NFL, becoming a Super Bowl champion in 2013.
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