The Blind Side: Where Are Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy Now?

In John Lee Hancock’s sports drama film ‘The Blind Side,’ Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy welcome Michael Oher to their family upon learning about the latter’s impoverished living conditions. Initially, by sharing warmth and food, the couple becomes a part of the boy’s life. When Leigh Anne finds out that he does not have a home to go to, she decides to become his legal guardian with her husband, Sean. In reality, the Tuohys were beside Oher when the latter became an All-American and an NFL star. However, their relationship eventually strained, only for them to be involved in a legal battle concerning Oher and his finances!

Becoming Michael Oher’s New Family

Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy’s paths crossed with Michael Oher during a holiday season in Tennessee. The couple spotted Oher going to the Briarcrest Christian School’s gym in search of warmth without any winter clothes. By then, Sean was familiar with the boy, as he met the latter previously at the institution’s gym. Like he had helped several other students, Sean made a formal bond with Oher by setting up a lunch account for the teenager. The familiarity made him spot the student during the holiday season, only for his wife to be empathetic towards him by providing him with a warm place to sleep.

Leigh Anne and Sean had the means to provide for Oher. At the time, the couple operated around sixty stores of restaurant chains such as KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s. Leigh Anne is also an interior designer. Unlike in the film, she welcomed Oher for good after finding out that he lived in a trailer, blowing up an air mattress every night, 30 miles into Mississippi. Oher reportedly had a bed of his own for the first time in his life when he started living with the Tuohys. Meanwhile, the teenager was slowly securing his spot in Briarcrest’s football team. Sean, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 1982, helped him become a player.

Leigh Anne, during the same time, was determined to ensure Oher managed to garner good grades by appointing a tutor. Even though the teenager had to put in a lot of effort, under the guidance of Leigh Anne and Sean, he made it to the Ole Miss Rebels of the University of Mississippi. Since the Tuohys were former Ole Miss students and a part of the university community, the National Collegiate Athletic Association had to look into Oher’s admission, but it didn’t take him long to leave his mark on the institution as an All-American. After his time in college, he became an NFL player upon getting drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. Leigh Anne and Sean celebrated the occasion beside Oher.

Leigh Anne and Sean’s Lives After Oher’s NFL Draft

The release of ‘The Blind Side’ was followed by the publication of ‘In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving,’ a book Leigh Anne and Sean wrote with Sally Jenkins in 2010. The account detailed how the couple was committed to bringing change to the lives of individuals like Oher. Leigh Anne wrote two more self-help books titled ‘Making It Happen’ and ‘Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving.’ She also became a motivational speaker and a TV personality by joining ABC’s reality series ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ as an interior designer.

In 2023, Oher brought Leigh Anne and Sean’s lives to the spotlight. The retired football player claimed that the couple earned his conservatorship by making him believe that they were adopting him. His petition also alleged that the Tuohys used his name to earn money through the production of ‘The Blind Side.’ The couple’s lawyers responded to the petition by stating that the money the family received, around $700,000, was distributed equally between Leigh Anne and Sean, their two biological children (Collins and SJ), and Oher.

The response Leigh Anne and Sean filed in court stated that they “admit that they never intended to, and in fact never did, take any action to assume legal custody through the Juvenile Court of Shelby County.” Even though websites concerning them had described Oher as their “adoptive son,” as per the couple’s filing, the term was used “in the colloquial sense, and they have never intended that reference to be viewed with legal implication.” The duo’s response also added that Oher was aware of their conservatorship way before 2023 since he mentioned them as the same in his 2011 memoir ‘I Beat The Odds.’

Termination of the Conservatorship

According to the filing, Leigh Anne and Sean garnered the former football player’s conservatorship because it was necessary for his admission to the University of Mississippi. Eventually, in September 2023, a Shelby County judge terminated the couple’s conservatorship that enabled them to manage Oher’s financial affairs. In November, Leigh Anne and Sean made it clear that they would remove any description of Oher as their adoptive son from their websites and public speaking materials. The legal battles were piqued by the couple’s allegation that the retired football player tried to extort $15 million from them through text messages.

“If something isn’t resolved this Friday, I’m going to go ahead and tell the world, how I was robbed by my suppose to be [sic] parents. That’s the deadline,” read one of the alleged texts Oher supposedly sent Leigh Anne and Sean. “It was 10 million now I want 15 after taxes,” read another, as per reports. “Needless to say, the menacing demands were shocking and hurtful to the Tuohys, who had always treated Mr. Oher with kindness and love,” the Tuohys’ attorneys claimed in a filing.

Leigh Anne and Sean Live in Florida Today

Leigh Anne and Sean currently live in Florida, sharing their lives with their children, Collins and Sean Tuohy Jr. The couple toured Europe earlier this year, visiting several cities in Spain, France, and Italy. Leigh Anne shared how Catalan Modernism captivated her in Barcelona, where they also visited the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. The trip took them to Collioure, a French fishing town on the Mediterranean coast, where they immersed themselves in beaches, wines, fishing, history, art, and art heritage. They visited Saint Tropez in France and Monte Carlo in Monaco, where they were fascinated by the harbor and the Casino de Monte Carlo.

After spending time in Antibes and Cannes, Leigh Anne and Sean arrived in Porto Venere. The trip seemingly concluded with a visit to the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City. They reunited with Tim McGraw, who plays Sean in ‘The Blind Side,’ while attending a concert in Orlando, Florida, in March 2024. The pair also attended an Eagles concert. The Tuohys has been an unignorable presence in notable events that take place in Orlando, including this year’s PGA Show. Earlier this year, they embarked on a Disney Cruise for the first time. Whenever possible, they return to their alma mater, the University of Mississippi, to catch the Rebels play.

Sean reduced his business operations drastically by 2020. He sold 105 restaurants and 55 properties for $213 million, retaining only 11 Taco Bell outlets in Florida. “It’s a lot harder to unwind a company than to build a company,” he told Franchise Times about the sales. With reduced business, Sean and Leigh Anne turned their focus to their organization, the Making It Happen Foundation. The non-profit tries to enhance the lives of children from varying backgrounds.

Read More: The Blind Side: Where Are Collins and SJ Tuohy Now?