Chrisley Knows Best is not your regular reality TV-show. Real estate guru Todd Chrisley and his large family get into trouble and drama on a regular basis, not the least because of their tumultuous relationships with each other (and the law). And recently an ugly custody battle over granddaughter Chloe has shattered the already fragile family peace…
A controversial family
Todd Chrisley shot to national fame when his show Chrisley Knows Best was picked up in 2014. The reality star was not only able to show America what life is like for the other half, he also brought some incredible entertainment value to our screens. But many of the family’s heated arguments have gone public over the years, controversies have gotten worse, and Todd even received custody of his granddaughter under unfortunate, controversial circumstances…
The Chrisley Knows Best cast includes all of Todd’s children, as well as his mother, Faye, and Todd’s grandchildren. The first episode was able to reach over 1 million viewers, and quickly got signed for a second season to come later the same year. For years, Todd had always dreamed of being on the television, but he might not hve anticipated how the show would affect his relationship with his five children – or grandchildren.
Even though the show was a hit with the nation, it did leave Todd Chrisley’s parenting skills up for debate. The reality star was seen to have some extreme methods of disciplining his children, such as throwing a Macbook into the pool or forcing them to change their outfit to meet his high standards. While they may not be the conventional ways that most people choose to parent their children, Todd has continually defended himself as he says his actions have always been justified.
No show for Kyle
Todd and his oldest son Kyle have always had a complicated father-son relationship. This all came to a head during season two, when there was a noticeable lack of Kyle. Todd announced his son had chosen a different route in life, but Kyle’s story was very different; he said his father forced him to quit. Todd retaliated by saying his son was asked to leave after he refused to stick to his medication, as well as making threats to the crew.
All an act
Kyle was soon back in the headlines, with some more public bashing of his father. Kyle stated that the entire show is scripted by Todd, and if you were to say or do something that Todd didn’t approve of he would stop the whole show, tell you what should be said, then continue rolling. He said that the entire ordeal has left all the children with ill feelings towards their father. Todd, of course, responded that the show has never been scripted.
Hiding the truth
Besides the accusations of the show being scripted, Kyle had even more serious allegations against his father. Many celebrities are guilty of not being entirely truthful when it comes to declaring incomes, and Todd is apparently one of them. In the early commercials for the show, Todd was seen admitting the family spends close to $300,000 per year just on outfits – but later on he told investigating officers that he and his family only spent around $650 a year on clothes…
Kyle added to these rumors that his father was, in fact, trying to get out of paying his taxes. He said during an interview that the family faked their lives in Florida to avoid any tax charges from Georgia. It’s one thing to go to these lengths to save on some pennies, but having your own son be the one to give the game away? That’s new level, and certainly one that Todd and Kyle didn’t manage to come back from over the years.
Issues with Kyle
It is no secret that Kyle hasn’t had it easy in the last few years. He was only 19 years old when he checked into rehab in 2011 and dear dad Todd didn’t pay the bills, even though he had been boasting about paying millions to help his son. Eventually the rehab center sued the family, as Todd had only paid $18,000, but ended up having to cover the court costs too, adding up to an extra $24,000.
Considering their past, it’s no wonder Kyle and Todd have a frosty relationship, to say the least. And things deteriorated even further when Kyle’s daughter Chloe was born in 2012 – because soon enough this would lead to the most bitter fight between the two men to this day. But what is the source of this life-long father-son feud? Considering Todd’s relationship with Kyle’s mother,Teresa Terry, ended in an ugly divorce, perhaps it’s no wonder Kyle harbors plenty of anger towards his father…
Kyle’s mother Teresa doesn’t really exist in the new and improved Chrisley world, but back when Kyle was just a little boy she complained of domestic abuse. Today as then, she is mainly concerned about protecting Kyle, siding with him regarding his father. Kyle was a rebellious child, Teresa has said, but there was no such thing as rebellion, or anything that is not perfect, in Todd’s world. Teresa holds Todd responsible for Kyle’s very publicly presented issues.
So how did Kyle turn into what Todd considered a rebellious child? Well, part of the reason might be how him and his older sister came into this world. Teresa and Todd met when he was just 19 and only three years later, in 1989, they were married. But it seems that decision was for a more scandalous than romantic reason – Teresa was, in fact, pregnant with their first child. Lindsie was born in 1989, and just two years later Kyle arrived.
Money making idea
Todd was soon on the hunt to find a way to provide for his new family, but needed to find a career that suited his glamorous dreams. The young family was forced to move around a lot, as Todd had begun to invest in properties. However, the houses weren’t in very good condition, and Todd had to invest all their money into each one, meaning they weren’t left with any cash for their own home. Not exactly a glamorous environment for little Kyle and Lindsie, or Teresa…
Teresa has since claimed Todd was controlling everything during their marriage, including the family members’ behavior. Even with two young children in the house, he demanded all toys were to be kept away at all times. Todd also expected Teresa to make sure she was always glamorous and elegant, looking as though she was about to step onto the red carpet – not care for children and a home. Unsurprisingly, the marriage quickly began to fall apart.
In 1994 Teresa had decided that enough was enough, so she planned to leave her husband. There had been rumors of their issues for years, with Teresa confessing she had actually left her husband a number of times before. This time she decided to walk out for good, but she would be going with only one child: Kyle. Todd was accused of kidnapping their daughter for two months before handing her back over. The divorce was finalized in 1996 with both sides having joint custody of the children.
As they were granted equal custody, both parents wanted to try and do best by their children, but it wasn’t long before Todd threw a spanner in the works. He decided that he would be moving to California, and as the children were old enough to decide for themselves, Lindsie chose to move with her father. As Teresa didn’t want to split them up, she sent Kyle along with them, too. However, within three months they were all back home.
As if going back and forth between newly divorced parents wasn’t enough of a hard time for the kids, Todd also remarried
in May 1996, just a month after the official divorce papers had been signed. The timing seemed very suspicious, and Todd and his new beu Julie Hughes had in fact met already in the beginning of the ‘90s. Julie had lived through some tragic experiences as her brother is reported to have taken his own life behind the family trailer.
Two new children
The couple’s first child was son Chase Chrisley, who was born on June 1, 1996, one week after his parents had tied the knot – making it glaringly obvious Todd had had an affair while still married to Teresa. The following year the couple welcomed daughter Savannah Chrisley to the family. While growing up, Chase was keen on becoming one of his school’s athletes, while Savannah opted to go down the beauty pageant route. But with his dad occupied by his new, perfect family – Kyle’s resentment just grew…
Granddaughter custody battle
Kyle seemingly did well eventually, despite his ongoing feuding with dad Todd, and on November 10th, 2012, him and girlfriend Angela Johnson welcomed daughter Chloe Chrisley into the world. However, the couple split in April 2014, which left Kyle needing his father’s help once again. Angela was caught making false accusations of receiving child support from a program set up to aid families that were struggling financially, but with the Chrisley family having acquired such a fortune, it begged the question: was any money being given to Chloe?
Winning the case
Todd took Angela to court when Chloe was just nine months old in a bid to gain custody as the family was being denied visitation rights. But even though Kyle had asked his father to help him, Todd only ended up helping himself, according to Kyle. In fact, it was Todd along with his wife, Julie, that managed to, allegedly, gain custody of Chloe instead. This definitely didn’t help Todd and Kyle’s relationship in any way…
Getting the views
One accusation aimed at Todd is the supposedly fake relationship he has with his granddaughter, Chloe. It is rumored that Todd only wanted her on the show so he could boost audience numbers. Kyle accused his father of not wanting to know Chloe before the ratings improved. Todd defended himself by saying the real reason his granddaughter was on the show was that Kyle had threatened to sue if he didn’t get paid for her time on air.
Hopeful for the future
Despite Kyle’s harsh accusations, Todd is grateful for the outcome of the custody battle and says Chloe has been a true blessing in their lives. He has also stated publicly that he truly hopes his relationship with Kyle, and more importantly, Chloe’s relationship with her own father, will improve in the future. Even though the little girl lives with Todd and Julie, Todd wants her to know who her father is, and have him in her life.
Turning the page
In the meanwhile, Kyle is trying to leave his old substance problems (and old family problems) behind him. Newly married and living on a large estate with his new wife, Lexi, and their dog, Milo, he was quoted as saying he has moved on with his life, and that although he does not currently talk to his family, he only wishes them the best. “I cannot wait to start a family with my wife after we’re all settled in,” he had said. “She’s my best friend.”
Defensive dad mode
Todd’s relationship problems don’t just extend to Kyle, his other kids are also frequently at the center of Chrisley family drama. But sometimes, they are fighting on the same side. Todd even took to his social media pages to defend his daughter, Savannah, when rumors were circulating around the internet that she and her boyfriend, Luke, had split up. Todd attached a photo of his daughter and Luke on their vacation, to ward people off of spreading fake news.
Delving deeper into the family
It was inevitable Chrisley Knows Best would eventually develop a spin-off. But who was the lucky one to get their own show? Well, make that a lucky pair, as Savannah and Chase were set to create their very own series! Even before it premiered, Todd promised that his children would bring just as much entertainment as his own reality show – if not more. Growing Up Chrisley follows Savannah and Chase as they begin to make their mark in the world without the help of their parents. The show premiered on April 2, 2019.
How ’bout now?
With the new Savannah and Chase spin-off, a new wave of rumors and “where are they?” renewed interest came to the surface. “I’m extremely proud of Chase and Savannah as they continue their journey into adulthood,” Todd said when the spin-off was first announced. “This show will follow them as they live on their own and give their parents huge headaches and potential heart attacks. The plot thickens with love.” Todd has clearly improved his parental skills with these two, and the three seem to have a close relationship.
Trouble for Chase
But even though Todd is proud of his youngest kids, and excited to work with them, news about Chase suggested that Todd would soon regret this spin-off idea. Young Chase was in a bit of a legal pickle, as he reportedly owed $16,000 in back taxes. The IRS filed a federal tax lien against him, regarding unpaid balance for the 2014 tax period. This was pretty unfortunate as Chase up until then had had a great image, and it was unclear how it would affect his Growing Up Chrisley show.
As for Savannah, she is recuperating from a pretty frightening car wreck she was involved in in January, 2017. Her floor mat got stuck behind her pedals, she explained in an Instagram post, and one second looking down was enough to send her car straight into the guardrails. She suffered a broken vertebrae and immense pain following the accident. Her many fans sent her a plethora of well-wishes on social media, for which she was extremely thankful.
Love is off the air
Speaking of Savannah, who is feeling much better: despite her father’s seemingly unconditional support, she and NBA star Luke Kennard have indeed broken up. “I’ve made a decision as a young woman of faith, that with where Luke and I both are in our careers, it was best to part as friends rather than deal with the pressures of wondering if you are the only one,” Chrisley said. Even more chances at new plot lines at the spin-off, it seems – though, more importantly, we hope Savannah isn’t feeling too sad.
The beat goes on
In the meanwhile, Chrisley Knows Best did not only get picked up for a “new and better” (according to USA Network, which airs the show) 6th season, its new after-show has also been green-lighted. “Patriarch Todd Chrisley will give advice about parenting and relationships,” the after-show description reads. With the family at home, Savannah and Chase in their spin-off, and Todd sharing his quirky thoughts on subjects large and small with us, we are bound to be blissfully Chrisley-ied out for a good while.
Money making schemes
During all these years, Todd has been busy continuing to grow his property business. The property mogul was able to take the most rundown homes and transform them into an entirely different building. The housing market was booming, meaning he was quickly able to enjoy the benefits of his hard earned cash. He managed to create such an empire for himself that he even founded Chrisley Asset Management, a company that would take on repossessed houses, and sell them for an incredible profit.
The exact year of the founding of the company has been disputed, with people saying CAM was created anywhere between 2002 and 2008. However, 2008 was a tough year for Todd as the property market in America began to crash. It was now getting increasingly hard to sell his properties, so he had to ask for much lower prices. It wasn’t long before Todd found himself in financial difficulty, having to take out loan after loan to cover the costs. This wasn’t helped by the birth of Todd’s fifth child, Grayson, who was born on May 16, 2006. Another mouth to feed meant more stress for Todd.
Running out of cash
It may be hard to believe, but Todd and his wife, Julie, actually filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2012. Even though the reality stars boast their lavish lifestyles on their show, Todd had managed to get himself into a spot of bother when it came to paying for it all. And by that, we mean $49.4 million in debt – yikes! The debt racked up quickly as it included $12 million in mortgages, a nearly $600,000 tax bill, a $4.4 million loan from Julie, and a business deal that ended up costing him a whopping $30 million.
Battling extortion threats
During March 2016 it was announced that a member of the family had been arrested: Pamela Chrisley. The woman in question was married to Randy, Todd’s brother, but things took a turn when Randy asked his wife for a divorce. To get back at them all, Pamela began trying to blackmail Todd and his family by threatening to sell a news story to the National Enquirer. Pamela said the only way she would withhold the information was if Todd transferred her hundreds of thousands to keep quiet, but Todd refused.
Things didn’t entirely go to plan for Pamela when she found herself in the back of a cop car rather than sunning herself on a beach in Barbados. Todd announced what had been happening by posting Pamela’s mugshot on his Instagram with a caption that explained what she had been trying to do. Pamela spoke publicly about how Randy had always been paid by his brother to keep quiet about any of Todd’s secrets, so she didn’t see why she shouldn’t be entitled to any of the money.
It hasn’t just been Randy’s marriage that has been in the firing line either. The legitimacy of Todd and Julie’s marriage has been questioned over the years. Kyle (of course) had an opinion on the matter as he stated that Julie is only with his dad to live off his money, rather than being together out of love. Both Todd and Julie have responded to the claims saying that they are false, and of course they are in love. They argue that with the amount of finger pointing in the media, it’s just hard to keep up with who is where at times.
In 2016, Todd set his sights on a new goal – taking the country music world by storm. The TV star recorded a single with the legendary singer and songwriter, Shane Stevens. The song was first aired at the end of the fourth season of the show, and shot to number one on the iTunes pre-order list, before its release in November 2016. Even though a considerable fanbase greeted the song, Todd has failed to pursue his singing career any further, but who knows? Maybe he could still become the next Garth Brooks!
A new show idea
After three long years of fighting his corner, Todd was finally been able to win over network executives with his brand new idea for a show. The series According to Chrisley premiered in September 2017. Each 30 minute episode featured interviews with people on the street, some minor celebrity guests, and his family members, who joined him on stage in front of a live audience. The show was a relative success, but was cancelled after only one season.
Plans for the future
With his bank account looking back on track (for now), Todd has announced what he plans to spend his money on. He not only wants to continue with his reality show, but he also wishes to finally pursue his love of fashion. It is still unclear what Todd means by this, but who knows; we could be walking down the street in a Todd Chrisley original piece sooner than we think! Although, this will be without his daughter, Lindsie, who has recently decided to side with her brother, Kyle, about what her father is really like.
The early years
Michael Todd Chrisley was born in Georgia, on April 6, 1969, to Faye and Gene Chrisley. His father was a war veteran, while his mother stayed at home to look after the children. The couple went on to have two more sons: Randy Chrisley, and Derrick Chrisley, who was the youngest of the three children. Tragically, though, Derrick passed away when he was just a toddler, and the family has chosen to not speak publicly about him or his death.
After the family tragedy, they all moved to South Carolina for a fresh start. Growing up, they weren’t financially well off, but the children were able to enjoy a fulfilling childhood. Todd has spoken about how his fondest memory from this time is when he and his brother Randy would ride as far as they could on their bikes together, which is ironic now as Todd has spoken about how he would never let his children ride their bikes alone.
Todd wasn’t like the other students as he preferred to dress in the latest fashions, whereas the others would stick to jeans and t-shirts. He would often invite large groups of friends back to his house where his mother would cook for them all. However, it has been reported that Todd was never comfortable as he doesn’t like large crowds and preferred his own company. It was during his teenage years that Todd became fascinated by TV shows, particularly soap operas. With his hopes set high, Todd aspired to become an interior designer and model.
Far from where he started
It seems like Todd has had his eyes set on stardom even when it seemed absolutely impossible. “His parents were just regular middle class people,” Chrisley’s first wife, Teresa Terry, was quoted as saying, “But I guess he always just wanted something different. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.” While the couple did have “fun” moving around renovating homes, Teresa revealed a far more sinister side of Todd. It wasn’t only that her hair always had to be perfect. She said Chrisley would scream with rage at her constantly.
The Chrisley family does have their charm, with their almost sweet idiosyncrasies. For example, if you thought Todd was controlling about his kids – you’ll never believe how he reacted to his mother’s mischief. Since Faye was driving with a suspended license, Todd had her arrested – well, had her thinking she was being arrested, just to teach her a lesson. After a drawn out exchange with a cop, Todd claimed, “I’m going to tell you this is all a joke!” Faye did not seem amused. Strange.
Even though Todd might be doing seemingly well in the world of reality TV, off camera things are not so easy for him and Julie recently. The couple is actually facing some pretty serious legal problems. Wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, tax evasion, and filing of false tax returns are no laughing matters – and the two are accused of all of them. If they can’t clear their names in the court of law, they could even end up in jail.
But despite these very serious allegations, Todd and Julie are claiming they’re innocent. Todd took to social media to plead with his fans, saying it’s all a big misunderstanding. And that could be the case, as the crimes they are accused of could have been committed by the family’s accountants – who are also under investigation. Todd has also said there are plenty of witnesses who can help prove his innocence, and that him and his family are putting their trust in God during this difficult time.
Betrayed from within
Despite Todd’s seemingly sincere words, one person who is causing many to doubt his innocent is one of of his own family members. Estranged daughter Lindsie has recently come out with some very serious allegations against both her father and younger brother Chase. Besides both facing accusations of tax evasion, father and brother are now also being accused of extortion. Lindsie is saying they have threatened to leak a personal video of her, if she refuses to lie on their behalf.
Todd and Chase have quickly responded to the allegations, saying Lindsie is making the whole story up – and they have no idea why. They have said they are heartbroken and confused, and find it shameful this personal drama is getting aired in public. They have also emphasized they will always love Lindise, despite what she has accused them of. But considering Todd and Chase are knee-deep in legal problems, many think Lindsie is in fact not lying – and is simply sitting on information that would make the Chrisleys look anything but innocent.