Michael Lewis, the author of The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the book that inspired the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side, is blaming Hollywood for the rift over money between ex-NFL lineman Michael Oher and his former guardians, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Lewis made that contention in an interview published today in The Washington Post.
“Everybody should be mad at the Hollywood studio system,” Lewis said. “Michael Oher should join the writers’ strike. It’s outrageous how Hollywood accounting works. But the money is not in the Tuohys’ pockets.”
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In a petition filed Monday in Tennessee court, Oher alleged that the Tuohys tricked him into a conservatorship to obtain legal authority to make business deals in his name. Oher claimed the Tuohys and their two birth children each received $225,000 plus 2.5% of the movie’s net proceeds, while he received nothing.
The Blind Side film grossed more than $300 million at the worldwide box office.
Oher is asking for an accounting of profits the family earned while “exploiting” his name, among other things.
Lewis, a childhood friend of Sean Tuohy’s, said the Tuohys received around $350,000 each from movie profits after agent fees and taxes. He claimed the Tuohys planned to share royalties among the family members, including Oher, but Oher declined them.
“What I feel really sad about is I watched the whole thing up close,” Lewis said. “They showered him with resources and love. That he’s suspicious of them is breathtaking. The state of mind one has to be in to do that — I feel sad for him.”
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