Michael Oher Claims "The Blind Side" Falsely Portrayed Him As Having Intellectual Disabilities

Oher's lawsuit includes claims of "dumbing" him down for the cameras.

BYBen Mock
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More details continue to emerge about the horrifying situation surrounding Michael Oher. Oher, who played in the NFL was 2009 to 2016, was made famous by his life story. His inspiring story served as the basis for the Oscar-winning film, The Blind Side. Oher, who is Black, was adopted by the white Tuohy family after they met him at an elite Memphis private school attended by their biological children.

However, Oher has claimed this week that he was never legally adopted by the Tuohy family. Instead, he claims he was tricked into entering into a conservatorship. That arrangement gave the Tuohys full financial control over his life and life story. Oher, 37, is seeking an end to the conservatorship as well as financial restitution. The Tuohy family has not denied the arrangement, but calls Oher’s lawsuit “insulting”. Furthermore, the family has alleged that Oher demanded $15 million from them before filing the lawsuit. As more details emerged and the lawsuit is further scrutinized, we are starting to get a better picture of what alerted Oher to the truth.

Read More: The Blind Side controversy and Michael Oher lawsuit explained

Oher Portrayed As Having Intellectual Disabilities

The claims that Oher was wrongfully portrayed as having an intellectual disability stems from his lawyer, J. Gerard Stranch IV. According to Stranch IV, "Oher was depicted [in The Blind Side] as having intellectual disabilities, which isn't the case in real life. In fact, Oher was academically gifted, which is how he managed to get into the Memphis private school where we would eventually meet the Tuohy children and their parents."

It's unclear whether that portrayal extended to other aspects of Oher's life. However, it likely helped the Tuohys maintain their conservatorship over Oher, which remains in place despite him being 37. It's just yet another twist to this ever-evolving story that is likely to get very messy if it proceeds through the court system. The Tuohys have stated that they are willing to end their conservatorship of Tuohy but contest his other claims against them.

Read More: Michael Oher claimed conservatorship was pitched as "pretty much an adoption" in 2011 memoir


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.