After suing to end conservatorship, Oher does Baltimore book signing

BALTIMORE — Michael Oher, the former NFL player whose life story became the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated movie “The Blind Side,” greeted dozens of fans who lined up to get his latest book Monday evening but maintained his media silence a week since suing to end his conservatorship.

He declined to speak to reporters at a book signing for his recently released memoir, only addressing the assembled crowd in line at 6 p.m. A bookstore employee advised reporters in attendance of that before Oher emerged from inside for the patio.

Oher, who played his first five pro seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, spoke carefully to fans, telling some he couldn’t say much given the lawsuit and with reporters present.

“This book, it means a lot to me,” Oher said during brief remarks at the start of the event at The Ivy Bookshop. “Basically, it’s a playbook on life and how I continue to fight back and when your back’s against the wall. That’s how I’ve felt all my life.”

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Oher filed a petition Aug. 14 in a Tennessee probate court accusing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy of lying to him by having him sign papers making them his conservators rather than his adoptive parents nearly two decades ago. Oher is asking for the conservatorship to be terminated, a full accounting of the money earned off his name and story to be done and to be paid what he is due, with interest.

He accused the Tuohys of falsely representing themselves as his adoptive parents, saying he discovered in February the conservatorship agreed to in 2008 was not the arrangement he thought it was — and that it provided him no familial relationship to them.

Oher, who has never been a fan of the movie about his life, asked in the petition that the Tuohys be sanctioned and required to pay both compensatory and punitive damages determined by the court.

The Tuohys last week called the claims they enriched themselves at his expense outlandish, hurtful and absurd and part of a “shakedown” by Oher. Lawyers representing the couple also said the Tuohys would enter into a consent order to end the conservatorship they say Oher was aware of long before this year.

Oher played eight NFL seasons after being the 23rd pick in the 2009 draft out of Mississippi. The offensive lineman started 110 games and won the Super Bowl with the Ravens, also playing for Tennessee and Carolina. He last played in 2016 and was released by the Panthers in 2017.

He is the latest prominent figure to question a conservatorship, nearly two years since supporters cheered Britney Spears being freed from her arrangement. The ruling came after Spears publicly demanded the end of the conservatorship, which had prevented her from making her own medical, financial and personal decisions since 2008.

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