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Denise Oher, Michael Oher Mother; Her Marriage, Drug Abuse, Whereabouts

Denise Oher gained fame as the biological mother of Michael Oher, a former NFL offensive tackle who played for eight seasons. She became well-known for her portrayal in the biographical film “The Blind Side,” which depicted her as an alcoholic and drug-addicted mother, reflecting the challenges she faced in reality.

Throughout her life, Denise struggled with substance abuse, leading to significant disruptions in her family life. This raises the question of whether she continues to battle drug addiction. Additionally, people are curious about the current state of her relationship with her son, Michael, and Marcus Oher.

In this article, we will delve into lesser-known facts about Denise Oher, providing insights into her life and addressing these inquiries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Denise has a famous NFL player son.
  • She is a mother of 12 children from numerous relationships.
  • One of her husbands was shot and killed.
  • She is currently 65 years old.
  • She used to be addicted to substance abuse but is clean now.

Denise Oher’s Early Life

Denise Oher, born in 1958, is 65 years old as of 2023. She was raised in Melbourne, United States, but spent her entire life in South Memphis, Tennessee.

Further, Denise holds American nationality and has an African-American ethnicity.

denise with black wavy hair
Denise had a troubled childhood (Source: Getty Images)

Unfortunately, there is limited information available about Denise’s early life. However, it is known that she faced significant hardships growing up in poverty. She had a troubled background. Following the death of her father and the neglect from her alcoholic mother, Denise was raised in an orphanage.

Additionally, these early difficulties had a profound impact on her life. It lead her into a destructive cycle and eventually involved her with drugs.

She Has 12 Children

Denise was married twice and during the course of her marriage, she gave birth to 12 children. Her children include Marcus, Collins Tuohy, Sean Tuohy Jr, Andre, Carlos, John, Rico, Tara, Deljuan, Denise, and Michael Oher.

Out of all her children, Michael achieved international recognition and fame as a professional NFL player. It was through Michael’s success in football that Denise Oher’s name became more widely known to the public.

More about her famous NFL son

Denise’s son, Michael, is a former American football offensive tackle who had an impressive career in the National Football League (NFL) spanning eight seasons, primarily with the Baltimore Ravens. He gained recognition during his college years as a player for the University of Mississippi, where he earned unanimous All-American honors.

Michael wearing his football jersey during a game
Michael against the Miami Dolphins during their preseason NFL game at Bank of America Stadium.

Oher’s remarkable journey and experiences up until his final year of high school and first year of college became a subject of interest. His hardship and success are documented in Michael Lewis’ 2006 book titled “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.”

His life was document in the movie, The Blind Side

This compelling story of his life also caught the attention of Hollywood and was later adapted into the Academy Award-nominated film “The Blind Side,” released in 2009. The film shed light on Oher’s challenges, triumphs, and the transformative impact that a loving and supportive family had on his life.

Moreover, in 2013, Michael achieved the remarkable feat of winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. His biological mother, Denise was invited as a guest of honor to a Super Bowl watch party in downtown Memphis.

During this time, Denise had an interview with a local station, where she said:

“I’m proud of him. I love him and I’m going to give God all that praise for his success. I’m excited, I’ve been excited since they won. I knew he was going to be successful in sports.”

Denise’s first husband Was A Gang Member

Denise was married to a man named Odell Watkins. He was connected to a troubled gang known for drug-related activities. Denise and Odell were in a relationship for a considerable period and had five children together. However, their marital life eventually ended, leading to some complications.

denise wearing prison uniform
Denise clicking a mugshot when she was arrested for DUI (Source: Google)

After their breakup, Odell made an attempt to contest his paternity. However, DNA testing confirmed his biological relationship with their children. Following the separation from Denise, Odell is leading an obscure life.

Her second husband Was Shot To Death

After separation from her first hubby, she married for the second time to Michael Jerome Williams, her brother’s friend.

When Denise’s half-brother, Robert, was serving time in prison, he arranged for his friend Michael to check on his sister, Denise. Unexpectedly, Denise and Jerome developed a romantic relationship, resulting in the birth of their son, Michael Jr.

Denise's son, Marcus and Michael
Oher’s son, Marcus(L) with Michael(R) (Source: Google)

Unfortunately, Michael Jerome’s involvement in Denise’s life was short-lived as he returned to prison. Her life became marked by constant instability and disorganization. Adding to the difficulties, Michael was largely absent from their family home due to his frequent incarcerations.

Tragically, her second spouse met a tragic end while in prison when he was shot to death. This further added to the tumultuous and tragic nature of Denise’s life and the challenges she faced in raising her children.

Where Is She Now?

After being taken into custody in 2013 due to charges involving driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, and driving with a suspended license, Denise is living a clean life.

Following her release, she resided in a public housing complex called Foote Homes, situated in the South City area of Memphis, for several years. Eventually, she relocated to a two-bedroom house situated on Elvis Presley Boulevard.

In addition to changing her living situation, Denise has undergone a significant personal transformation. She is now leading a life free from substance abuse.

Denise showing her house to a reporter
Marcus’ mother, Denise shows her house to a reporter (Source: Action News 5)

Moreover, she has expressed profound embarrassment regarding her previous struggles with drug addiction. She also feels incredibly grateful that her children have found success in their own lives. It has also been reported that some of her children, including Michael, have offered her financial assistance.

During an interview conducted in 2017, she stated:

“I haven’t had any drugs in 6 years. Ain’t had nothing to drink in three years. So I am on the right path. Ain’t no turning back this time. That’s all I know to say about that. No turning back this time.”

Plus, her path to recovery and the establishment of her newfound stability is closely connected to her deep faith in God and her spiritual inclinations. It is highly likely that her belief system has played a crucial role in her personal transformation and serves as a constant source of strength and direction in her life.

Denise Talks About The Movie “The Blind Side”

Denise openly acknowledged that she had never watched the movie “The Blind Side,” as reported by Action News 5. The news outlet also highlighted her profound embarrassment regarding her past struggle.

Further, Oher emphasized the immense difficulty of overcoming such an addiction. She stated that it requires consistent effort, prayer, unwavering commitment, and a genuine desire to transform one’s life.

Kritika Udas

Kritika Udas is a highly skilled and experienced content writer. She has been passionately working in the field of content creating for over two years. So far, she has written blogs, especially in the entertainment niche for over a dozen of websites and has a strong grip in her field.