Home NCAA Auburn HC Hugh Freeze: The Tuohys Took In Michael Oher, “Without That, There Is No Story”

Auburn HC Hugh Freeze: The Tuohys Took In Michael Oher, “Without That, There Is No Story”

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Auburn HC Hugh Freeze: The Tuohys Took In Michael Oher, “Without That, There Is No Story”
(Credit: The University of Mississippi)

Auburn Head Coach Hugh Freeze opened up to reporters on Thursday about the ongoing legal battle involving his former player, Michael Oher, and the Tuohy family.

Freeze, who played a pivotal role in Oher’s life as his head coach at Briarcrest Christian School and later as an assistant coach at Ole Miss, expressed his deep affection for all parties entangled in the lawsuit.

“I love Michael Oher,” Freeze declared, his voice imbued with emotion. “He’s like part of our family.”

“I (also) love the Tuohys. I think it’s sad, and I certainly don’t claim to understand all the ins and outs of adoption, conservatorship, all of that. But I know what I witnessed, and I witnessed a family that totally took in a young man. And I think without that, there is no story.”

Oher’s lawsuit centers around the claim that the Tuohy family placed Oher into a conservatorship, falsely presenting it as an equivalent to legal adoption.

This conservatorship, implemented shortly after Oher’s 18th birthday in 2004, granted the Tuohys control over Oher’s financial decisions and legal agreements, even though he was not officially a member of their family.

The lawsuit contends that this conservatorship allowed the Tuohys to engage in financial transactions without Oher’s consent, including deals related to the acclaimed film ‘The Blind Side,’ which grossed over $300 million and earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Oher’s legal team has claimed that the four biological members of the Tuohy family, including Oher, were compensated with $225,000 and 2.5% of “defined net proceeds” from the film.

However, the Tuohy family and their legal representatives staunchly deny these allegations.

“In reality, the Tuohys opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support and, most of all, unconditional love,” said Martin Singer, a lawyer representing the Tuohys. “His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”

Singer continued: “They insisted that any money received be divided equally. And they have made good on that pledge.. The evidence is clear: over the years, the Tuohys have given Mr. Oher an equal cut of every penny received from The Blind Side.”

“Even recently, when Mr. Oher started to threaten them about what he would do unless they paid him an eight-figure windfall, they still deposited Mr. Oher’s equal share into a trust account they set up for his son.”

Freeze, while acknowledging the complexity of the situation, expressed hope for a future reconciliation between Oher and the Tuohy family.

“I know if Michael called Sean (Tuohy) right now and said, ‘Let’s work this out,’ Sean and Leigh Anne would be there in a hurry to hug his neck and tell him he’s loved,” Freeze said. “I hope he feels that. And, certainly, I don’t claim to…until you walk in people’s shoes, I don’t claim to have all the answers to anything.”

What do you think about the whole situation?

One thing’s for sure – it’s messy…and will only get messier.

 

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