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'The Blindside' inspiration Michael Oher says adopted family stole his name and fortune

The family that inspired "The Blind Side" never actually adopted the retired NFL player and allegedly haven't shared a dime from the film based on his story.

Michael Oher, Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy; The Blind Side; Michael Oher conservatorship

Michael Oher fights to end conservatorship after finding out he wasn't adopted

"The Blindside" was a movie that brought football lovers and drama lovers to tears with all the touching moments, triumphs and unconditional love. When the movie came out in 2009, Michael Oher, 37, the person who made the story possible had just been drafted to the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens. That helped curious fans tie the movie up with a nice little bow, seeing Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy by his side through it all.

But after the movie came out, there was a little rumble brewing about how Oher was portrayed. In 2013 while preparing for the Super Bowl in New Orleans, the offensive tackle said he was tired of talking about the movie.

“Football is what got me here and the movie, it wasn’t me. I always knew how to play football growing up. It was different personalities, stuff like that. Playing football is what got me to this point,” Oher says according to the LA Times.


At that point, Oher was still close with the Tuohy family and they were expected to be at the Super Bowl to support him. It wasn't until February 2023 that the retired NFL player found out that his adoption into the Tuohy family never actually happened. Instead of adopting the then-high school senior, in 2004, the Tuohy's had Oher sign conservatorship paperwork giving them full control over any business dealings for the football star.

"They explained to me that it means pretty much the exact same thing as 'adoptive parents,' but that the laws were just written in a way that took my age into account," Oher revealed in his best selling book, "I Beat the Odds."

Black man and white woman sitting on sidewalk

Michael Oher fights to end conservatorship after finding out he wasn't adopted

Sinemabed|Flickr

Recently, Oher filed a petition in Shelby County, Tennessee claiming that Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy deceived him into signing a conservatorship under his belief it was adoption papers. The filings, which are 14 pages, also allege that Oher never made any money off of the Oscar winning move about his own life. Instead, he claims the Tuohy's, including their two biological children, Collins and Sean Jr. (SJ), did and continue to receive royalties.

The retired offensive tackle is seeking to not only end his secret conservatorship but to end the use of his name and likeness by the Tuohy's, as well as an accurate accounting of the funds made off of his name. Oher is requesting to be paid his share of what was earned and damages.

In the filings, Oher's lawyer makes clear the emotional toll this situation has had on his client, explaining, "Mike didn't grow up with a stable family life," Stranch said. "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 once couch surfing, impoverished teen turned NFL player signed what he thought was his adoption papers just a few months after turning 18. As shocking as this revelation is, it seems more shocking that he was somehow cut out of the profits of a movie that made over $300 million dollars about his life. In fact, looking back on the entire buzz around the movie, very little of it had to do with him, though it's his life story. The Tuohy's, and what a good deed they did, was the focus, when it should've been on him.

The amount of devastation Oher must've felt and likely continues to feel after discovering the people he's called Mom and Dad since he was a teen aren't legally his parents is unfathomable.

“Michael was obviously living with us for a long time, and the NCAA didn’t like that. They said the only way Michael could go to Ole Miss was if he was actually part of the family." Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian. "We contacted lawyers who had told us that we couldn’t adopt over the age of 18; the only thing we could do was to have a conservatorship."

Though there's no mention of why the Tuohy's didn't inform Oher of the legality of the conservatorship or end it after he graduated Ole Miss. The Daily Memphian mentions that Tennessee does currently allow for adult adoptions.

Its not clear if Oher will ever be able to forgive the people he called his parents or how this new information impacts the relationship he had with the Tuohy's two biological children. Though his lawyer wrote that Oher's relationship with the Tuohy's is permanently fractured after finding out he's not adopted and legally part of their family.

This will be a hard situation to overcome for Oher, and possibly the biological children of the Tuohy's since Collins was barely 18 herself and SJ was only 11, when Oher was "adopted." The three often talked about how close their bond was, so the fall out of these allegations will likely have an unfortunate impact their relationship as well.

In the end, let's hope the former NFL player is able to regain the use of his name, likeness and ability to make his own business deals, while wishing him all the healing needed to get through this situation.

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O Organics make eating organic affordable

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Friendsgiving might have started as a novel alternative to Thanksgiving, but today it’s an American holiday in its own right.

For many, especially millennials and Gen Zers, Friendsgiving offers an opportunity to get creative with their celebrations without being obligated to outdated, even problematic traditions or having to break the bank.

However, some of us might not want to go to the extreme of only having pizza and beer. What if there were a way to balance the decadence of a traditional Thanksgiving meal while still keeping it easy and laid-back? And could we make it healthy too?

As it turns out, we can.

Here’s a super simple breakdown of what your next Friendsgiving prep could look like. An appetizer, salad, side, entree, and dessert. All done in an hour—even quicker if you assign certain dishes to different partygoers. #spreadsheetsrule

But wait, it gets better—all of these meals can be made organic at an affordable price, using O Organics® at Albertsons. O Organics helps shoppers find quality ingredients at reasonable prices every day of the year. Friendsgiving is no different.

Without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Appetizer: Charcuterie Board


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Nothing quite hits like the fancy, grown-up version of Lunchables. Crackers, meats, cheeses, and various fancy toppings that can be combined in endless ways. The easiest form of culinary creativity there is.

You already know how to make one of these bad boys, but here’s a basic template if you’re needing a dose of inspo:

Meats: Some tasty choices here are salami, prosciutto, sausage, etc. I made a smaller-scale board and decided to go with salami. If you or your friends aren’t a fan of pork, sliced turkey or smoked salmon are some yummy alternatives.

Cheese: The possibilities are endless here. You can even opt for a dairy-free cheese option!

Bread or Crackers: Artfully arranged. Speedily snacked upon. Some O Organics options here and here.

Fillers: this is where the charcuterie really shines. Fill in the spaces with splashes of color and flavor. Be sure to go for both savory and sweet. That means olives, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, nuts, and a vibrant array of fresh or dried fruit. A yummy fruit spread doesn’t hurt either.

Time: 5 min

Salad: Squash And Feta Salad

Ingredients:

(3-4 servings)

1 small red onion (O Organics sells them in a bag)

1 bag O Organics frozen Butternut Squash

6 cups fresh O Organics spinach, arugula, kale, or whatever salad green you like

1/4 cup O Organics pecans

1/4 cup O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil

O Organics Lemon and Olive Oil Salad Dressing

CrumbledO Organics Goat Cheese

Salt and pepper

Chop some onions. Sautee them in olive oil. Add a bag of frozen squash. Dress some salad greens with dressing. Add the onions and squash. Top with pecans, cheese, salt and pepper. Badda bing badda boom.

Time: 10 minutes

Side: Autumn Seasoned Air Fryer “Roasted” Potatoes

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As any millennial will tell you, we love our air fryers. Nothing quite ticks all the quick, easy and healthy boxes quite like one. And if you haven’t yet had a perfectly crispy on the outside, buttery soft on the inside air fryer potato, then what are you waiting for?

Ingredients:

One 3 pound bag of O Organics red or russet potatoes—honestly any potato will do

2 Tablespoons O Organics olive oil

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

That’s it. No really.

Cut potatoes into one-inch pieces. Coat with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning. Cook in an air fryer at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Toss the potatoes in the basket and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender and crisp.

Time: 20 minutes. TOPS.

Entree: Coconut Chicken Curry

cravingsomethinghealthy.com

Because who needs turkey? This one pot piéce de rèsistance is the very essence of Friendsgiving—unique, versatile and not without a little spice.

Being the entree, this dish calls for a few more ingredients, but is honestly not much more demanding. You’re basically looking at 15 minutes for prep, and about 30 minutes to simmer.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon O Organics olive oil

1 medium onion diced

2 teaspoons ginger minced

2 teaspoons green curry paste

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 cups O Organics Thai Style Curry Chicken Broth

1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

1 15-ounce can O Organics full-fat coconut milk

2 ½ cups O Organics cooked chicken breast

1 8.8 ounce package O Organics 7 Grains & Lentils Blend

1 16 ounce bag of O Organics frozen peas

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Lime juice

Cilantro

Chopped O Organics cashews to garnish

Using a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid), saute the onion and ginger in olive oil over medium heat, for about 4 minutes. Add the curry paste and curry powder and saute for one more minute.

Add the Thai Style Curry Chicken Broth and the diced sweet potato. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and catch up with friends for 20 minutes while the dish simmers.

When the sweet potato is tender, shake the can of coconut milk well and pour it into the pot. Add the chicken, 7 Grains & Lentils Blend, and peas. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let the curry simmer for another 10 minutes.

Congrats! You are finished. You can add salt, lime juice, cilantro, extra curry powder/paste, or garnish with roasted cashews. Each bowl is customizable.

Time: 40 min

Dessert: Holiday Kettle Corn Bark

onbetterliving.com

Of course, you can always opt for pie, but sometimes people might want to opt for something a bit more bite-sized when it comes to desserts—especially after a hefty meal. This sweet and salty finger food does the trick quite nicely.

Ingredients:

1 bag (6 oz) O Organics Kettle Corn Organic Popcorn (about 9 cups)

1 bag (10 oz) O Organics Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

8 oz white chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 cup pistachios, roasted and salted

2/3 cup O Organics Dried Cranberries

2 tbsp O Organics Organic Coconut Oil

1 tsp salt

Line a 12x17-inch baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Spread kettle corn on the lined baking sheet in one thin single layer. Put the semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate evenly over kettle corn, reserving about a 1/3 cup for finishing touches. Sprinkle the pistachios and cranberries over the kettle corn evenly.

Follow the same melting instructions for the white chocolate, then drizzle evenly over the kettle corn. You can follow with any remaining semi-sweet chocolate for a layered effect. Let the kettle corn stand for 5 minutes.

Place the kettle corn bark in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Once the bark has hardened, break into pieces.

Time: 20 minutes.

OR…if you want to make life even easier…just grab some pints of ice cream and call it a day. No judgment here.

Time: literally a few seconds to open the freezer and grab some bowls.

And there you have—a no muss, no fuss, healthy and affordable Friendsgiving spread. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your chosen family.

Get to your nearest Albertsons today and find everything you need to make these yummy dishes! No Albertsons in your area? You can also find O Organics products exclusively at Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Pavilions.

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