The former NFL star's Foster brothers pushed back on several scenes from the film, including when Oher tells Leigh Anne Tuohy that he never had a bed of his own before: "That video is depicting something that didn’t occur," the Hale brothers say in the new CNN doc about the scandal.
Two months after Michael Oher was released from his conservatorship under the Tuohy family, his foster brothers are speaking out in a new CNN FlashDoc titled, Blinsided.
In the doc, which premiered Thursday, Oher’s foster brothers Nate and Quwanda Hale discuss the legal battle between Oher and the Tuohys as well as some of the inaccuracies they saw in The Blind Side.
The Hale brothers said they know first-hand what life at home was really like for Oher, and said they were “blessed” with a foster mom who “provided for us” before Oher moved in with the Tuohy family.
“The one thing you want is a family, to feel like, ‘I belong and you want me here,'” Nate said.
While there are various parts of the film that depicted Oher’s life in a way that did not match the reality they knew, the Hale brothers said one scene in particular, which shows Oher tell Leigh Anne Tuohy he has never had a bed for himself before, is simply something that “didn’t occur.”
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They claimed that a requirement of the foster system is that each child “have their own space.”
Nate added that Oher was rarely unhappy, as he was portrayed in the movie, and there was a resilient mentality among the foster brothers to move forward with hope.
Both Hale brothers shared that Michael always wanted to play football, saying and that he wanted the sport to be his future.
“Michael pretty much grasped the concept that everyone else grasped — this is not the end of your life — let this be a step towards the beginning of a new life,” Nate shared.
Fellow football player and former classmate, Quinterio Franklin, also weighed in during the doc, sharing that when he went to see The Blind Side in theaters, he walked out.
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“I’m embarrassed for him as a friend — it’s not accurate and it’s hurtful,” Franklin said, referring to a scene portraying the NFL star as unable to read and write in high school.
In The Blind Side, the Tuohy family took Oher in when he had nowhere to go, but Franklin said Oher began staying with the Tuohys out of convenience because their home was near the school and Sean Tuohy was a volunteer coach for the team.
Oher rose in the ranks, becoming one of the top five offensive linemen nationally at a high school level.
When it came time to graduate, the Tuohy family, who were living in Tennessee at the time, had a close connection to the scout at Ole Miss, and when Oher revealed he would be attending the university to play football, the Tuohys proposed a conservatorship to Oher.
While the conservatorship has now ended following a very public legal battle, the Tuohy family claim they entered into the agreement as a work around to the NCAA rules that existed at the time.
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Oher, however, claimed to have been told he was to be adopted, which is consistent with language the Tuohys used publicly. In his filing to terminate the conservatorship in August, Oher said he felt “tricked” into signing the documents, and that he later found out it allowed the Touhys to control contract negotiations on his behalf — potentially screwing him out of a ton of cash, especially in the deal that led to the creation of the blockbuster movie based on his life.
The Touhys, meanwhile, rejected Oher’s allegations, but said they had no objection to dissolving the conservatorship.
The rest of Oher’s case against the Touhys — one in which he’s asking for damages as well as an accounting of the money the couple made through contracts negotiated on his behalf — is still ongoing.
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