Patriarch Todd Chrisley is loud and proud and claims he “always knew there was something crazy” about his family. The multi-millionaire real estate developer decided it was time to do something with that crazy, and ever since 2014, his southern family has been all over our screens doing funny -and questionable- stuff.
But, as we already know, reality TV isn’t an honest account of what’s really going on in people’s lives. In Chrisley’s case, he’s actually far from being rich, has allegedly blackmailed his daughter, and was sued by his employees for inappropriate behavior. Clearly, he doesn’t always know best. Here’s what’s really going on behind the cameras.
Living a lavish lifestyle in a 30,000 square-foot mansion comes with a price. For the Chrisleys, it means a total of $49.4 million in debt. As viewers, it’s easy to be blinded by the family’s outrageous lifestyle, but in 2012, two years before the show aired, Todd and Julie filed for bankruptcy after clearly spending a lot more than what they could afford.
But their financial problems didn’t end there. In 2019, Todd and Julie were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and tax evasion. All those financial crimes could eventually land them behind bars. Julie blamed a bitter ex-employee for faking documents and claimed that she and Todd “have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of.”
In 2000, Julie risked her clean image when she covered for her husband Todd as he escaped the police and made a run for it through the back door. He had been dodging arrest warrants for quite some time, and when police finally caught him on his doorstep, he pretended to be his brother Randy and told them he’s going upstairs to get his ID.
Which, of course, he didn’t. Instead, he fled through the back door. In the meantime, his partner in crime Julie kept the officers company and chatted them up. She was later arrested for “obstructing the apprehension of a fugitive.” Ahh…the things you do for love.
Todd has always been open about Kyle’s struggles with addiction in the past. Getting his son in order was clearly at the top of his priorities when he checked him into the Creative Care Treatment center in Malibu in 2011. He claims he has spent millions on improving Kyle’s wellbeing, but Creative Care claims otherwise.
Apparently, Kyle began the treatment in January and stayed until Todd removed him from the program in the beginning of March. Rudely, Todd never paid the center for the second month. The initial amount was $11,643.93, which then became $24,000 when Creative Care sued and added court costs and attorney fees.
Todd loves showing off his passion for fashion. On the show, he proudly claimed that he and his family spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on designer clothes. But $300,000 on clothing alone doesn’t sound too good if you’re filing for bankruptcy, does it? Todd seems to agree.
Magically, when speaking to the IRS, he went from being a compulsive shopper to a humble man who barely spends a penny on clothing for his family. From flaunting $300,000 on camera to a mere $650 on paper, Todd is ridiculously contradicting himself. Honestly, both amounts sound outrageous. I guess we’ll never really know how far Todd is willing to go for good clothes.
Pamela Chrisley, Todd’s former sister-in-law, was arrested for second-degree harassment after she allegedly try to extort money from him. She apparently threatened to go public with a story that, she assured, would damage the Chrisley family. In return for her silence, she demanded a generous amount of hush money.
After her arrest, Todd tweeted, “It’s truly a shame when folks think extortion is a way to make a living, but thankfully law enforcement has done their job well…#Godisgood.” Pamela was eventually bailed out, but she can longer contact the Chrisley family by any means.
When you’re at war with the IRS, all is fair, right? You can even blackmail your own daughter with her sex tape so she’ll lie about your tax crimes. According to Todd and his son, Chase, that’s a perfectly reasonable measure to take in times of crisis. Lindsie called her father “repugnant” after she hurried to the police and reported that he, along with her half-brother Chase, had been threatening to release a tape from her past.
Surprisingly (not really), both Chrisleys deny all allegations and claim to have no knowledge of a sex tape or any blackmailing from their side. If we ever thought we’ll see Lindsie again on the show again, it’s getting harder and harder to believe. The daughter feels completely “estranged” from the family, and this tape situation has added a lot of fuel to the already existing flames in their relationship.
The love between Todd and ex-wife Teresa lasted four short years in which they had their two children, Lindsie and Kyle. After the divorce in 1994, Teresa fought for her children but was only able to retain custody of one of them – Kyle. Lindsie on the other hand, was a different story.
Teresa claimed that when she went to pick up her daughter from Todd’s parents’ house, “he wouldn’t let me have her.” The shocked mother filed a complaint for “unlawful abduction” and eventually got her back. But it took her two whole months to settle the issue so she could see her daughter again. Todd claims it’s all a bunch of lies: “She can thank me later for that power bill she paid from that story of lies she sold & so can her cohorts.”
According to some of Todd’s former employees, working with him meant being in a hostile and terribly uncomfortable environment. You had to endure sexual comments, out of line offers and aggressive threats. Todd was sued twice: Once in 2009 by a group of female employees and a year later by a few of his male employees.
For a long time, they were afraid to speak up for fear of getting fired. But after hearing how they were harassed, we’d say he was doing them a favor by letting them go. As per usual, Chrisley claims to know best, even if that means showing him your private parts.
There are a lot of allegations being thrown at Todd Chrisley, mainly ones that have to do with him trying to escape the burden of paying his share to the country. But when your own flesh and blood turns his back on you? That’s got to hurt. In 2017, Kyle mentioned in an interview with Good Morning America that his dad bragged about not paying taxes.
A year later, Kyle took it all back. According to him, he was feeling estranged from the family and wasn’t mentally clear at the time, so all of his allegations were just vindictive lies. He wrote on Facebook, “Honestly, I’m tired of it. You guys don’t have the facts and I need to set the record straight once and for all. Everything I said in my interview was a lie.” We wonder if Todd has forgiven him.
When Todd rose to stardom in 2014, there was one person in particular that took good advantage of his newfound status – his ex-wife Teresa. She hurried to sell a story to The Daily Mail, accusing him of being over controlling and abusive, to the point where she feared for her life.
Before you blame her of falsely stirring up drama to make a few hundreds, The Mail actually found documents proving that his abusive behavior was, indeed, what ended their relationship. Of course, Todd has denied everything, but according to Teresa, he is “more vindictive than you could possibly imagine.”
Kyle’s daughter, Chloe, steals the show in every scene. She has a unique biracial appearance that automatically ignites your curiosity. But the legal battles surrounding little Coco has made it difficult for her to appear on the show. Let’s back it up a bit to see how we got here.
Kyle’s bipolar disorder and past addictions have made it difficult for him to function as a dad, and a year after Chloe’s birth, he was arrested for assault. No longer able to take care of her, grandpa Todd took his place and shared custody with Angela, the mom. But in 2016, Angela was arrested as well, for medical fraud, and this made Todd the primary legal caregiver. So, everything has gotten pretty ugly at this point, and both parents are fighting for their daughter.
2014 was a bittersweet year for the Chrisleys: exciting, obviously, because the show finally premiered, but frightening as well because Todd’s brother Randy was diagnosed with stage four cancer. So, while we were sitting at home enjoying the outrageous events taking place in this southern household, the Chrisleys were devotedly praying for their uncle’s recovery.
The family never hid the illness from the public, but they insisted on maintaining his privacy as much as possible. Todd moved his younger brother to a hotel in Atlanta so he could be treated close to him and luckily, the treatments proved successful. We don’t know much of Randy’s whereabouts nowadays but we hope he is living healthily with his cancer in remission.
Behind Julie Chrisley’s bubbly smile lies a profound and deep sorrow. Her younger brother, Trey, committed suicide when he was just 25, leaving the family distraught and grieving. Her father, Harvey, with whom he had a close relationship, was especially affected by the loss. The tragic encounter with death shook him to the point where he completely switched the course of his life and became a Baptist minister.
An emotional reminiscence was captured on Hollywood Medium, when Tyler Henry attempted to contact Trey. He invited Julie and Todd on the show and expressed the message to them, “He comes through very, very peaceful, but he is making a very profound connection to your dad and the feeling basically is that dad never recovers or gets over this. The reference is when I died, dad is just never, ever able to come back from this. It’s almost like your dad’s life ended when your brother’s did.”
What better way to grab the viewers’ attention than provide them with juicy divorce related drama? Todd surely wasn’t going to miss out on that opportunity. So, when his eldest daughter, Lindsie, was going through her divorce, he turned it into a spectacle for the world to enjoy. Lindsie on the other hand, wanted to keep it as private as possible.
When she left the show in 2017, the fans desperately wanted to know why, and Lindsie answered that the relationship with her father had become messy, and she no longer felt part of the family. Todd responded a bit more covertly and uploaded a picture to his Instagram that said “One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is grieve the loss of a person who is still alive.” Ouch.
It’s pretty common for entertainers to try their hand at different areas of showbiz. We’ve seen this before – actor turns model who also becomes a singer. In Todd’s case, he actually has a decent voice, and in 2016 he paired up with musician Sara Evans to record a country ballad for his beloved wife, Julie.
Todd explained, “I wanted to give Julie a gift that you couldn’t purchase. Well, actually, you can purchase it on iTunes, but I mean, I wanted to give her something I couldn’t purchase.” As you can tell, Todd never misses a chance to advertise his products. He co-wrote the love song with Shane Stevens and Nash Overstreet and the trio’s lyrics actually hit the Billboard charts!
Chrisley grew tired of appearing in front of the camera with only his family, and, in 2017, he decided it was time to sit down with some other people for a change. He came up with According to Chrisley, a 30-minute talk show where he invited different guests to chat it up with him in front of a live audience.
It took him three long years to sell his idea and convince producers he could make this work. We applaud him for his efforts, because it finally took off. But after one short season, his run was over. According to Chrisley, the show could have been a hit. But According to Radar Online, “No one was connecting to it.”
The Chrisleys have made it clear that faith is a large part of their lives. We’re able to catch a glimpse of it on the show but their social media is where they express it even more. After Todd recovered from COVID-19 in April, he expressed his gratitude with a verse from the Bible which he posted on his Instagram account.
The rest of the family shares those same feelings. Both his daughter, Savannah, and his wife, Julie, have uploaded a lot of religious content to their accounts and his son, Chase, has even tattooed a verse from the Bible. You’d think that Todd would be proud of his son’s commitment, but he actually forced him to get it removed because he didn’t appreciate Chase using his body as a cheat sheet to remember his prayers.
Despite some blackmailing here and there, for the most part, the Chrisleys have each other’s back. All members of the family have suffered, to some extent, the vicious insults of online trolls, and it’s due to that mutual experience that they find it important to stick together. So, when Todd received a nasty comment about his biracial granddaughter, Chloe, he fired back.
In the summer of 2020, Chrisley uploaded a picture of Chloe and him and captioned it with, “Silent Racism, I love how God made me, and it’s enough.” One of the viewers wasn’t pleased, because he commented, “I’m sorry, I don’t like it. Marry your own color, it really screws up the kids.” Todd respectably answered, “I hope that the Lord lets you live long enough to see that color doesn’t screw up kids, but ignorance and hate most certainly will.” We’re impressed.
On paper, there’s no reason to question Todd Chrisley’s sexuality. The guy has been married twice and is still in a relationship with his present wife, Julie. But viewers are struggling to make sense out of this fashion loving, botox injecting man. Now, by no means does metro sexuality equal homosexuality, yet in his case, fans are confused.
Todd isn’t deaf to the speculations about him and has made his opinions on the matter quite clear. In an interview in 2017, he light heartedly commented “I’m flattered that people think I can get laid on both ends, and my wife certainly is flattered that as many men want her husband as there are women.”
It’s easy to imagine the Chrisleys huddled up in their living room binge watching their show and laughing at Nanny’s witty comments. But not all family members are psyched to watch themselves on the screen, especially daughter Savannah who reported to E! News she’d rather skip some particular episodes, specifically – the fallout of her engagement.
In 2019, Savannah got engaged to Nic Kerdiles, but the two broke it off a year later. A lot of that painful process was filmed, and she admits that watching it is unbearable. In addition, Savannah needs to cope with judgmental comments about the heartbreak, “People only see the 30 minutes of something and love to come at you on social media, be hateful, and kind of give their opinions where they’re not really needed.”
Having your family exposed like that is sure to kickstart your kids’ careers, regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad. Todd is well aware of that and is grateful that his show enabled his children to fulfill their dreams. At just 23, his daughter, Savannah, has launched a fashion line called Faith Over Fear.
His son, Chase, is following some dreams of his own and influencing people through the use of social media – with more than a million followers on Instagram and over 400,000 on Tik Tok! Both children surely put some effort into building their name, but the exposure from the show provided a fertile ground for them to do so.
The Chrisley kids look like they were born with a camera in their face. They seem natural and easy going and pretty much themselves even though there’s a whole crew filming them. But what the show doesn’t show you, is the constant pressure they felt to not mess up. Daughter Savannah reflected on how, “I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself in order to live this perfect life and not disappoint people.”
Chase Chrisley also admitted that the constant scrutiny stressed him out because he was afraid of making mistakes and looking like a fool on camera. He also feels that it made him mature quicker, because he could see his mistakes on screen and learn from them. Surely, growing up was different for the Chrisley kids, but they were both able to make use of their unusual upbringing.
Apart from entertaining their viewers and making the laugh, the Chrisleys have actually inspired another rich family to parade their life on TV. Ever heard of the Demarcus Family Rules? Jay DeMarcus and his wife, Allison, have opened their doors for America to see how crazy and “unpredictable” their life is.
If you ask me, calling them a reality show seems like a stretch and most of the conversations seem terribly sketched. But hey, Todd Chrisley is the show’s executive producer and the guy has made an empire out of his family so whether or not the scenes are legit, the show will probably do well.
The Chrisleys are no strangers to online bullying. After years of being scrutinized by the public (because obviously that’s what you sign up for when you bring cameras into your house), they’re pros at replying to trolls in a calm and collected manner. Todd knows that there’s nothing as effective as killing your critics with kindness.
When he uploaded a selfie to Instagram that looked a little too refined and youthful, he received a generous number of comments suggesting he had gone under the knife. Todd courteously replied, “You are so kind, I actually have no filler in my face, but if you sleep better thinking that, then consider me fillered up.” He always knows how to take such comments as compliments. Good for him.
Julie Chrisley was 39 when she discovered she had breast cancer. A year under the recommended age to start getting mammograms, and with no family history of the condition, she really didn’t feel like she had anything to worry about. But Todd had two friends who were struggling with cancer at the time and he nagged her to do a checkup just in case
“I did it to appease him so he would shut up and leave me alone,” Julie claimed. Miraculously, his headstrong nature is exactly what saved her life. The biopsy confirmed that she had a tumor and while she was getting a double mastectomy, surgeons discovered she actually had two tumors! Thankfully, she is now breast cancer free.
We all know that Reality TV is far from being real. It’s only an edited and filtered part of the totality of a person’s life. So, it won’t come as a surprise that the cameras never showed Savannah’s medical struggles to the people watching. Ever since she was a teenager, she’s been dealing with endometriosis, a condition that affects a woman’s reproductive system.
No one can blame her for keeping it quiet; it’s a delicate and private subject. But in 2020, she opened up about it to her followers and this led to a surge of messages from women with similar issues. Savannah wrote, “There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed, and the pain was so bad that I would get nauseous and throw up.” Her honest post reached the hearts of her fans and raised awareness on a topic that is usually silenced.
There’s no denying that the Chrisley household became a huge hit in America. With their ridiculous jokes and outlandish moments, the southern family has definitely charmed its way into the hearts of people. But a lot of these witty comebacks are orchestrated a bit too well. Clearly, fans are wondering if the family spends time rehearsing lines before the cameras start rolling.
The answer? It depends on who you ask. A source told Radar Online that Todd hired a staff of comedy writers to craft funny dialogues. Todd, of course, claims that his sense of humor and way of speech is due to his southern upbringing and is totally real. The fans? As long as the family keeps them entertained, they truly don’t mind.
Nanny has a lot on her hands – two sons, plenty of grandchildren and even a great granddaughter. While she loves spending time with her bountiful tribe, there’s something that she likes a little bit more, gambling. She’s really good at it too and spends her time looking for casinos wherever she goes.
She’s not shy about her unconventional hobby and even posted a picture on Instagram with Chase and Savanah where she wrote “Love these children, but I like them more when they go gambling with me.” It’s clear that Nanny is nothing like the stereotypical sweater-knitting grandma.
But not the kind you have in mind. In 2016, Todd decided it was time to dive deep into the world of clean eating and colorful meals. That’s right, the reality TV star is the co-owner of a juice bar in Green Hills, Nashville, so if you’re ever in the mood for a fresh acai bowl, you now know where to go.
The reality TV star happily flaunted on Facebook, “We are having an AMAZING time serving you so far! Around Juice Bar, we’ve been taking some pretty powerful shots to keep us going through long days and an unforgettable first week of business. Come by and try one of our concoctions off the new Monster Shot menu! Don’t be shy – feel free to ask for a chaser!”