Is the story behind The Blind Side — both Michael Lewis’ best seller and the hit 2009 movie — a bunch of bull? It’s hard to say, but…maybe? Earlier this week, Michael Oher, the former Baltimore Ravens tackle portrayed in both, claimed that he was duped into thinking he was adopted by the wealthy Tuohy family. Oher has even alleged that they screwed him out of royalties from the movie. The Tuohys have denied this, but that hasn’t quelled the online furor, which has even spread to the film’s main star Sandra Bullock. Still, at least she has someone defending her honor.
In a new interview with The New York Post (in a bit caught by People), Quinton Aaron, who portrayed Oher in the film, called the news a “sad, unfortunate turn of events,” also saying that his dealings with both Oher and the Tuohys was always warm and cordial. What he really didn’t like, though, were people online attacking Bullock, who played matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy. Some have even said the Oscar she won for her performance should be returned. Not so, said Aaron.
“We are living in a day and age where people are hell-bent on pointing the blame on people and are just throwing things out there that’s wrong,” Aaron said. “It’s like saying, ‘Let’s throw this person to the wolves.’”
He added, “Sandra did nothing wrong. That’s my girl and she is going through a really tough time right now,” alluding to her longtime partner, who died last week. “I really feel like they should leave her alone and stop trying to come at her.”
Oher’s allegations about the Tuohys have revealed a back story more convoluted than portrayed in either the Blind Side book or movie. While Oher has claimed he’s never seen a penny from the film, the Tuohys have said they’ve always shared money they received. In an interview with The Washington Post, Lewis alleged that Oher had denied his royalty checks, prompting the Tuohys to set up a trust fund for his son.
As for the adoption claim, that’s complicated. Oher said he only this year discovered that instead of being adopted, he was placed under a conservatorship. But the Tuohys said they chose a conservatorship so that Oher could play ball at the University of Mississippi, for which Leigh Anne is a booster, thus setting up a potential conflict of interest.
Oher has gone so far as to sue the Tuohys, so the truth, whatever it is, may one day emerge.