Quinton Aaron is defending his The Blind Side costar Sandra Bullock amid some online criticism she's received for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in the hit 2009 film, for which she won her Best Actress Oscar.
via: ET Online
Oher filed a lawsuit against the Tuohys on Monday, alleging that they tricked him into a conservatorship shortly after he turned 18. Now Aaron is fighting back against those calling for Bullock to return her Oscar in the wake of the allegations against the family and their alleged treatment of Oher.
“Saying stuff like she needs to relinquish her title doesn’t make any sense,” Aaron told TMZ Sports of the calls for Bullock to return her Academy Award. “She gave a brilliant performance and that shouldn’t be tarnished for something that had nothing to do with her.”
The actor continued, “I really feel like we live in a society today where people are so hellbent on pointing blame on people. To make a statement like that, doesn’t make any sense. Sandra Bullock didn’t have anything to do with the real story… I think that people just need to chill out, relax and let the families involved handle whatever is going on.”
As for his own reaction to the news of Oher’s lawsuit against the Tuohy family, Aaron admitted that he doesn’t know what to think of the allegations.
“I didn’t know what to think. It’s news to me… unfortunately, it’s not a good turn of events,” he shared. “This movie inspired so many people, changed people’s lives, mine included. I feel for everyone involved. I’m not taking sides. I love Michael. I love the Tuohy family.”
Noting that he has not been in communication with the Tuohys since the movie came out, Aaron shared that he spoke with them some during the making of the film, but didn’t meet Michael until “a few years” after the movie was released.
“I just think this is between them. As unfortunate as it is, I offer up my support and prayers for all parties involved… I just hope that everything works out for the best,” Aaron shared.
In his lawsuit, Oher — whose story was first documented in Michael Lewis’ 2006 bestselling book, The Blind Side — claimed the Tuohy family made millions off his name after the film — starring Bullock, Aaron, Jae Head, Tim McGraw, Lily Collins and Kathy Bates — earned more than $300 million at the box office. The book and film are centered around the Tuohy family taking in Oher and helping transform his life on and off the football field.
Oher, an offensive tackle who played for Ole Miss and later the Baltimore Ravens, also claimed that the Tuohy family never officially adopted him and instead tricked him into signing paperwork that locked him into a conservatorship, which gave them legal authority to make business decisions in his name.
Oher claims in the petition that he only learned in February that the documents he was asked to sign by the Tuohys, under the belief that it was part of the “adoption process,” were actually conservatorship papers that would strip away his legal rights.
The 14-page petition, filed in Shelby County, Tennessee, probate court, alleges that the Tuohys used their power as conservators to negotiate a deal with 20th Century Fox that paid them and their biological children — Collins Tuohy and Sean Tuohy Jr. — millions of dollars in royalties from The Blind Side. The petition alleges that all four members of the Tuohy family were paid $225,000 for the film plus 2.5% of the film’s proceeds.
The conservatorship was granted until Oher reached the age of 25 or until the court terminated the order, but the arrangement was never terminated, Oher’s petition claims.
Sean Tuohy, the family patriarch, has called Oher’s allegations “insulting,” and shared that the family is “devastated,” in an interview with the Daily Memphian. He added that he is “of course” is open to ending the conservatorship if that’s Oher’s wish.
In a statement to ET, the Tuohys’ family attorney, Marty Singer, claimed that Oher, prior to filing his petition in court, allegedly threatened the family that if they didn’t fork over an eight-figure check, he would plant a negative story about them in the press.
Furthermore, the Tuohys deny “tricking” Oher into a conservatorship, and any claims that they went behind his back to score a lucrative movie deal is just not true.
“The notion that a couple worth hundreds of millions of dollars would connive to withhold a few thousand dollars in profit participation payments from anyone — let alone from someone they loved as a son — defies belief,” Singer told ET in a lengthy statement.