Sandra Bullock is “heartbroken” after finding out her Oscar-winning role in the film The Blind Side may not be based on a true story after all.
The real-life inspiration for the film, retired NFL star Michael Oher, shocked the world on Monday when he filed a lawsuit claiming his adoptive parents swindled him out of the 2009 film’s profits.
He alleges that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy - played by Bullock in the film - tricked him into signing a document that made them his conservators, rather than his adoptive parents, meaning they could make money from him.
A source close to Bullock told the Daily Mail that the actress “hates that such a wonderful story, a spectacular movie, and a spectacular time in her life now has been tainted”.
“Now people won’t watch it and if they do, they will have a completely different reaction to its original intention.”
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her performance in The Blind Side.
The source went on, “There was so much hard work put into the film that they all thought was the truth and now that has been questioned, it just upsets Sandra to no end that a time in her life that was so special, is now shadowed with a completely different perspective.”
It comes at a particularly tough time for Bullock, after the news that her partner Bryan Randall died at the age of just 57 following a private battle with ALS.
The insider added that Bullock is putting on a “strong face”.
“It has been a rough patch for her emotionally with the loss of Bryan, and now she is heartbroken in a different way with all the fallout from the Michael Oher news.
“She is figuring out how to move forward from it all, it is just going to take a little bit, but emotions are very high right now for Sandra and she is looking forward to better days ahead.”
Fans have already rushed to her defence after some claimed she should “give her Best Actress Oscar back” following the scandal.
But the star is “really not giving much of her attention” to the trolls as there are “more important things to worry about”, the source added.
Oher has filed a petition 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. Photo / AP
Bullock’s representatives have been approached for comment.
Retired NFL offensive lineman Oher shocked football and film fans when he began legal proceedings against the Tuohys.
The Daily Memphian reported that Sean Tuohy said the allegations have left his family “devastated” but “we are going to keep loving Michael”.
Oher’s adoptive brother Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr claims the family were not surprised by the lawsuit as Oher had known about the conservatorship “two years ago” - and had sent texts asking for money or he would take the allegations public.
Aged 18 in 2004, Oher signed a petition making the Touhys his conservators and thus legally able to make business decisions in his name.
His petition filed in Tennessee alleges The Blind Side’s version of events was a lie and that his adoptive family used him to acquire wealth.
He said in a statement earlier this week, “I am disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit today.
“This is a difficult situation for my family and me. I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time. For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment.”
Sean Tuohy told the Memphian that the conservatorship was established to ensure that Oher was eligible to play football at the University of Mississippi, dismissing the claim that his family made a handsome profit from the movie.
The Blind Side, adapted from Michael Lewis’ book, grossed US$309 million (NZ$520m).
Oher alleges that the conservatorship included a deal in which the Tuohys and their children would get royalties from the film - US$225,000 (NZ$377,711) each as well as 2.5 per cent of the movie’s “defined net proceeds”.
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.
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