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Michael Oher’s conservatorship ended by judge after complaint

The judge said she was uncomfortable with such an agreement and that she had never seen supervision of a non-disabled person.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee judge said Friday she will end a Supervision Agreement The feud between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who adopted him when he was in high school is set to continue in a highly publicized dispute over financial matters.

Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes said she will terminate the 2004 agreement that allowed Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to control Oher’s finances. Oher signed the agreement when he was 18 and living with the couple while he was being recruited by colleges as a star high school football player.Their story is the subject of the film “Underbelly,” which won the Sandra Bullock wins Oscar.

Gomez said she would not dismiss the case. Oher demanded a financial accounting from the Tooheys of funds they may have received as part of the agreement, claiming they used his name, image and likeness to enrich themselves and lied to him, saying the agreement meant The Toohey family will adopt him.

In Tennessee, conservatorship takes away a person’s power to make decisions for themselves, and it is typically used in the context of a medical condition or disability.

But his conservatorship was approved “despite the fact that he is over 18 and has no diagnosed physical or mental disability,” his petition said.

Gomez said she was uncomfortable with such a deal. She said that in her 43-year career, she had never seen a custody agreement reached with a non-disabled person.

“I couldn’t believe it was done,” she said.


Oher and Toosis listened to the comments via video conference call but did not speak. Lawyers for both sides agreed to terminate the agreement, but the case will continue to resolve Oher’s claims. Gomez said the matter should have been over long ago.

In August, Orr, 37, filed a petition in probate court accusing the Toohey family of lying to him and getting him to sign documents nearly two decades ago that made them his conservators instead of him adoptive parents. Oher wants the conservatorship ended, a full accounting of the money made from his name and story, and his fair share of fees and interest paid.

He accused the couple of lying about being his adoptive parents and said he discovered in February this year that the guardianship agreed in 2004 was not what he had imagined and that it did not give him any family relationship with them.

Oher claims the Toohey family kept him in the dark about financial transactions related to his name, image and likeness throughout the 19-year life of the agreement.

The Tooheys claim they acted at his expense Weird, hurtful, ridiculous, it’s all part of Oher’s “rectification.”

In a court filing, the wealthy couple said they loved Oher as a son and provided him with food, shelter, clothing and a car while he lived with them, but denied they intended to legally adopt him .


The Tooheys’ documents said Oher called them “mom and dad” and they occasionally called Oher their son. They acknowledged that the website showed they referred to Oher as their adopted son, but that the word was used only in a “colloquial sense and they never intended the reference to have a legal meaning.”

The Tuohys said conservatorship was a tool chosen to comply with NCAA rules and would prevent Oher from attending the University of Mississippi, where Sean Tuohy was a standout basketball player.

“When the applicant was unable to consider attending the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) because he lived with the defendant, the NCAA made it clear that he could attend Ole Miss if he were a member of the Tuohy family,” the Tuohy couple said in court on September 14 the document states.

The Tooheys also said Oher lied when he found out in February that he had not been adopted. They said Oher’s 2011 book, “I Overcame It,” showed he was fully aware of the Tooheys’ appointment as conservators.

The couple’s attorneys said agents negotiated a small advance from the production company for “The Underbelly,” based on a book written by Sean Toohey’s friend Michael Lewis. They said it included “a small portion of the net profits” divided equally among a group of people including Oher.

Attorneys said they estimate the Tuohys and Oher each received $100,000, and the couple paid Oher’s portion of his taxes.

The Tooheys’ documents say they never signed any professional football contract for Oher and that Oher was satisfied with their financial arrangements amid “weaknesses.”

Oher, the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Mississippi State, spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won a Super Bowl. He played 110 games in eight seasons in the NFL, starting 11 games in 2014 for the Tennessee Titans. Oher finished his career with the Carolina Panthers.

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