Below Deck this week sees Leigh Anne Tuohy, her husband Sean Tuohy and their friends as the charter guests — but do you know her amazing backstory?
Leigh Anne is the mom of NFL star Michael Oher, who she and Sean adopted when he was in his late teens. His birth mother was a crack cocaine addict and alcoholic while his father was regularly behind bars, and he was put in foster care at the age of seven.
Oher lived with various foster families before moving in with Leigh Anne and Sean, who already had their own son and daughter at the same Memphis school as him, in 2004.
They later adopted him and hired him a tutor to help increase his grades. He went on to play for coach Ed Orgeron in the University of Mississippi’s Ole Miss Rebels team.
He earned a degree in criminal justice in 2009 and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens as the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. He played for them until 2014 when he joined the Tennessee Titans before signing for the Carolina Panthers in 2015.
Oher, currently a free agent, has taken part in two Super Bowls, including when the Ravens beat the 49ers in 2013 at Super Bowl XLVII, and in February 2016, when he was part of the Panthers team beaten by the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl 50.
His and his parents’ story were the inspiration for the 2009 movie The Blind Side, which starred Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy and Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher.
Bullock won the Best Actress in a Leading Role award for her performance at the 82nd Oscars in 2009. The movie was based on the 2006 Michael Lewis book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.
In her professional life, Lee Anne is an interior designer and has previously starred in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She and her husband also own over 85 fast-food franchises, including for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The couple penned a book together in 2009 titled In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving.
Below Deck airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.