Not unlike KarJenner matriarch Kris Jenner, real estate mogul Todd Chrisley has become a “dadager” of sorts to his own reality TV family, having capitalized on the fact that there seems to be almost as many reality shows out there as there are days in the year. Really, it’s no secret that reality shows are all the rage, and that people love to dive into the lives of strangers who have more drama going on than they know how to deal with — and such has been the case with USA’s Chrisley Knows Best, the hilarious and sometimes awkward reality show about the Chrisley family.
Patriarch Todd is loud, full of spunk, and prone to creating controversy just about every day, but all of that aside, Chrisley’s family has proven to be just as interesting and sometimes cringe-worthy as he is throughout their seven-season run. Though the Chrisleys — which includes Todd’s wife, Julie Chrisley, their kids, Savannah, Chase, and Grayson, and Todd’s older children from a previous marriage, Lindsie and Kyle — like to think of themselves as Southern royalty, there’s actually a lot more going on in this clan behind the scenes than you might assume.
We bring you some of the weird things that everyone ignores about Todd Chrisley’s family.
Todd Chrisley and his wife's ongoing tax evasion case
Since their show’s 2014 premiere, the Chrisleys have provided ongoing reality TV family fun. Todd Chrisley and his wife, Julie, found themselves in hot water, however, in August 2019, when they were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts of “conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion” in their home state of Georgia. Yikes. Per People, the charges followed a nearly two-year investigation into the Chrisleys’ finances, leading to accusations of “evading nearly $2 million in state taxes between 2008 and 2016.” TMZ reports that it was believed that the Chrisleys had “concocted a scheme” to obtain the “money they allegedly used to fund a lavish lifestyle.”
Following this surprisingly dark turn in Chrisley family history, Todd took to Instagram to deny the allegations, claiming that they were the result of a disgruntled, unnamed former employee who was fired in 2012 when the couple reportedly discovered he was stealing from them. “We know we’ve done nothing wrong,” Todd wrote in part, adding, “I’m telling you all this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of.” Days later, they pleaded not guilty to the charges after turning themselves in to the FBI, and were released on $100,000 bond each.
By that October, the Chrisleys were cleared of their state charges, per People. As of this writing in 2020, however, Todd and Julie are still facing federal charges of alleged tax evasion.
Lindsie Chrisley has been accused of ratting out her dad
If you’ve ever watched Chrisley Knows Best, you’ve probably noticed that Todd Chrisley’s kids — Savannah, Chase, and Grayson — all seem super close. But Chrisley’s family extends beyond his three children with wife Julie. This TV patriarch has two kiddos from his first marriage, Kyle and Lindsie … both of whom have shared a publicly contentious relationship with their father.
According to Radar Online, Lindsie allegedly quit the USA Network series in 2017 over an argument with her father after he reportedly wanted to use her on-and-off marriage with husband Will Campbell as a plot point, with an insider claiming this “ruined his relationship with his daughter.” But their relationship got even more complicated than that when Lindsie was accused of leaking information about Todd to the authorities amid his tax evasion scandal. However, Lindsie’s attorney vehemently denied those allegations in a statement to E! News, noting, “She was not the source of this information. Lindsie has been a constant target of lies, harassment, and threats from her family.”
Unfortunately, that didn’t mean Lindsie wasn’t caught up in the drama, with one fan writing on Twitter, “She’s a liar & just out to get her own show.” It seems as though the drama really does follow the Chrisley family around, even when certain members distance themselves from everyone else.
The drama between Todd and Lindsie Chrisley didn't end there
When you’re on a reality television show, it’s pretty much an unspoken rule that you should take part in some drama, even if it’s a family show that claims to be full of Southern values like Chrisley Knows Best. The series might be considered more wholesome than others, but that doesn’t mean that Todd Chrisley’s family is any less dramatic than other reality families out there (ahem, the Kardashian-Jenners included). Even former reality star Lindsie Chrisley, who hasn’t appeared on Chrisley Knows Best since Season 5, seems to usually be embroiled in some kind of drama.
However, things took a more serious turn in July 2019, when Lindsie, who co-hosts the Coffee Convos podcast with Teen Mom 2 alum Kailyn Lowry, took legal action against her estranged family. According to E! News, she filed a police report against her father and stepbrother, Chase, claiming that they “wanted her to lie about an incident and if she refused to do so, they were going to release [a] sex tape involving her” and allegedly former Bachelorette contestant Robby Hayes. Revenge porn is obviously never okay, but Todd vehemently denied that the two had blackmailed Lindsie and claimed to have covered up her alleged affairs amid her marriage.
Meanwhile, her attorney told the outlet, “Lindsie would like nothing more than to be left alone and go about her own business. Unfortunately, certain members of her family will not let her live in peace.”
Todd Chrisley's estranged son made a complete 360
Lindsie Chrisley isn’t the only member of the Chrisley Knows Best clan to have a complicated relationship with the family patriarch: Todd Chrisley’s oldest son, Kyle Chrisley, was once famously estranged from the entire clan. In 2017, he even gave a headline-making interview on Good Morning America, in which he claimed that Todd was not only guilty of tax evasion, but had allegedly bragged about not paying taxes.
Flash forward two years, and all that seemed to change. In August 2019, Kyle took to Facebook to effectively walk back on all of these claims, writing in part (via People), “Everything I said in my interview was a lie. These allegations against my dad are all LIES! I will continue to stand as a united front alongside my mom, my dad, and the rest of my family.” He added, “9 months ago I went to my dad with an apology. His words were ‘I love you always, and you are forgiven’ and just like that I was welcomed back into his life with open arms.” A month later, Kyle opened up further about the father-son duo’s reconciliation, revealing on the Chrisley Confessions podcast (via GMA) that Todd and Julie Chrisley had taken on custody of Kyle’s daughter, Chloe, due to his battles with addiction, mental illness, and a suicide attempt.
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Todd Chrisley's family experienced a major learning curve about racism
As wealthy, white Americans living in the south, it’s no secret that Todd Chrisley’s family is pretty privileged. But that doesn’t mean the reality TV family is completely uninformed about ongoing racial and social injustices in the United States. Well, sort of. In 2012, Kyle Chrisley welcomed a mixed-race daughter, Chloe, with ex Angela Johnson, per Radar Online, and Todd and wife Julie Chrisley have since been granted full custody of their granddaughter. There’s no doubt that Chloe is loved by her famous extended family, but before welcoming her into their home and lives, the Chrisley family wasn’t exactly in tune with the problem of racism in America.
In a 2018 interview with People, Todd explained, “We had never dealt with racism. We have learned that it’s a very prevalent situation in this country. And we learned that, unfortunately, the hard way with negative things that were said about her on social media.” Following their admitted learning curve, Todd said, “We made a conscious decision that she is our child, she is our family member, and we’re not going to be a part of anything that causes her to feel less than.”
Savannah Chrisley's relationship status is a bit complicated
As one of the youngest Chrisley kids, Savannah Chrisley captured the hearts of viewers as she grew up on-screen. Through all her hairstyles and different business ventures, fans have gotten to see Savannah really come into her own — and when she started dating, we were hopeful that she would quickly find “the one” without having to deal with too much heartbreak.
Fortunately, Savannah got engaged to longtime boyfriend Nic Kerdiles in December 2018 … however, she has had some relationship drama in her life, even after the engagement. In 2019, the reality TV starlet told E! News that she and Kerdiles weren’t planning on tying the knot any time soon. “We are working on ourselves every single day and our relationship,” she said, adding that they were “taking some steps back” to really focus on keeping their relationship “God-centered.” Savannah added, “Marriage isn’t just for the Instagram, it’s not for the photos, it’s not a photo-opp. It’s a real-life thing.”
But when Savannah does eventually tie the knot, her wedding will be totally gorgeous. In an interview with People, the bride-to-be explained that she and her dad were doing the wedding planning: “I have my wedding dress picked out, I want a huge cake — there’s so many different things that I want.” As her brother, Chase Chrisley, quipped, “It’s my dad and Savannah’s wedding. Nic’s like, ‘So when’s the date?'”
The Chrisley family's spin-off got terrible ratings
Because Chrisley Knows Best has been such a hit for the USA Network, it made sense that the titular family would take advantage of this and try to parlay that success into a spin-off series. But unlike the Kardashian-Jenners’ growing TV empire with multiple spin-offs, like Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami and I Am Cait, Growing Up Chrisley unfortunately wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm.
The show follows Todd and Julie Chrisley’s kids, Chase and Savannah, as they make their way into adulthood … but fans just weren’t interested. Acording to Radar Online, the April 2019 premiere of Growing Up Chrisley only brought in 600,000 viewers. Take that number and compare it to Chrisley Knows Best, which reportedly brings in around 1.8 million viewers, and you’ve got yourself a flop. “They were sure it was going to be a hit and they were clearly wrong,” a source claimed to the gossip rag. “The storyline is just generic and neither one of them are entertaining.” Ouch. The site even alleged that Savannah announced her engagement to Nic Kerdiles on the same day as the premiere in order to try and bring in more viewers.
Things unfortunately didn’t exactly work out that way. Clearly, not everyone in the Chrisley family has the star power that Todd does.
The reason why people think Todd Chrisley's marriage is super weird
If you’ve seen even just a preview for an episode of Chrisley Knows Best, then you are well aware that Todd Chrisley is a bit of a character. In fact, that seems to be what the entire show is about. But you may not know that the family patriarch — who’s often faced rumors about his sexuality, which he tends to brush off through humor — and his marriage to wife Julie has been alleged to be a total sham.
Yup, on more than one occasion, anonymous sources have claimed that the Chrisleys’ marriage is completely fake. “It is hard for anyone who works with Todd or Julie to believe that their marriage is authentic,” an insider claimed to Radar Online in June 2017. “It’s made for TV. They do not display the same level of affection and love towards each other off-camera as they do when they are filming.” Whether or not that source was telling the truth remains to be seen, but another insider later alleged to the tabloid, “Things are very different between the two of them when the cameras are not rolling. It’s like night and day … Todd and Julie will never split. They both need each other to keep up this image that they have the perfect family.”
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