Huge Chrisley Family Scandals And What Really Happened

The following article includes mentions of addiction and allegations of domestic abuse and sexual harassment.

The stars of "Chrisley Knows Best" lay the Southern hospitality on thicker than a heaping helping of country gravy, and they serve it up with a generous side of luxury: designer clothing, expensive cars, and palatial homes. It looks like Todd Chrisley was trying to keep up with the Kardashians when he built his walk-in closet — but all that space may just make it easier to accommodate stacks of skeletons.

Todd and his family members are a tightknit bunch who have charmed viewers with their playful bickering and memorable quotes spiced with Southern sass; when Chase Chrisley uttered the words, "You gotta risk it to get the biscuit," he proved he was his father's son. Todd's tendency to be a control freak is also played for laughs on "Chrisley Knows Best," whether he's dressing in disguise to stalk his daughter, Savannah Chrisley, or making his wife, Julie Chrisley, fill out a check-out sheet before wearing her own jewelry. When his mother, Nanny Faye Chrisley, found out that he was monitoring her checking account, she protested by reminding Todd that it's not his money to spend. "It will be when you die," he replied.

In August 2022, Todd lived up to the title of his "Chrisley Confessions" podcast by telling his listeners, "If we've done anything by being on television, we've proven that we are not perfect." And when it comes to generating drama both onscreen and off, the Chrisley clan has made the case that they really might know best.

Todd Chrisley's first wife accused him of being abusive

During a March 2022 episode of "Chrisley Confessions," Todd Chrisley made some rare comments about his first wife, Teresa Terry, who is the mother of Lindsie Chrisley and Kyle Chrisley. "It was a one-night stand," Todd said of the extent of their relationship when Terry got pregnant with Lindsie. However, Terry previously told the Daily Mail that they dated before her pregnancy prodded the reluctant pair toward the altar. "I considered myself a hostage for six long, miserable years," Todd said on his podcast.

But Terry claimed that she was the real victim in their relationship. In 1994, she detailed the alleged abuse she suffered at Todd's hands in a domestic violence complaint. Per the Daily Mail, she accused Todd of beating her on multiple occasions and threatening her with a knife. However, Terry dropped the charges during their divorce proceedings, and the exes were awarded joint custody of their kids.

According to Terry, Todd allegedly hired a private investigator to find out where she lived after their divorce, and she caught him filming her. "He sent the footage to a television special on cheating wives," she recalled. "You just cannot imagine how vindictive he can be." She further claimed that Todd ignored their court-ordered visitation schedule and kept the kids with him a majority of the time. In response to Terry's allegations, Todd later told the Sioux City Journal, "I couldn't have been too bad because the courts awarded me custody of my children."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Julie Chrisley was allegedly untruthful and unfaithful

There's indisputable evidence that Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley's daughter, Savannah Chrisley, is a beauty queen — you can watch her being crowned Miss Tennessee Teen USA on YouTube. But according to Radar, there are no records supporting Julie's claim that she once won the Miss Carolina pageant, nor does such a title even appear to exist. Fortunately for Julie, she didn't need to capture a crown to capture Todd's heart. On "Chrisley Confessions," he once reminisced about one of the first moments he laid eyes on her when she was working at a bank. "I thought, 'This is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life,'" he said.

However, Julie's former sister-in-law claimed to Radar that there was a scandalous detail about this love-at-first-sight story that Todd left out: Julie and her first husband, Kenneth Wayne Childress, were allegedly still married when she began dating Todd. Childress reportedly learned about the affair when he discovered a love letter from Todd to Julie.

Julie was heavily pregnant when she and Todd tied the knot, but what's good for the goose isn't good for the goslings in Todd's world. When the patriarch with a penchant for embarrassing his kids was giving them the sex talk on "Chrisley Knows Best," he made sure to say, "You know that you're not supposed to have sex before marriage." The lesson ended when he tried to use a banana to demonstrate the proper way to use a condom.

Former employees accused Todd Chrisley of sexual harassment

Todd Chrisley has a habit of referring to women in a derogatory manner. On "Chrisley Knows Best," he recited this line from his nightly prayer: "Lord, please protect my son from all hos." And when he wants to insult Savannah Chrisley's appearance, he sometimes implies that she looks like a stripper. In fact, he does it twice in the trailer for the first season of the show alone.

Todd has also been accused of using similar language in the workplace. In 2009, three women who used to work for his company Chrisley Asset Management filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he sexually harassed them and referred to women "as escorts, strippers, swanky hos, sluts, and prostitutes," as reported by Radar. The plaintiffs alleged that Todd also made inappropriate comments about female employees' bodies, questioned them about their sex lives, and shared unwanted details about his own. "At virtually every staff meeting, Mr. Chrisley would make loud, sexually suggestive comments, as well as on a daily basis in the office," the plaintiffs alleged in their legal filings.

In a second lawsuit filed not long afterward, three different employees claimed that they were fired in retaliation for sharing their own stories about Todd's behavior when questioned for the first lawsuit. One plaintiff was a male employee who accused Todd of asking him to perform a sex act with him in the bathroom. According to Radar, the cases were settled out of court.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

The Chrisleys kept living large after filing for bankruptcy

Todd Chrisley filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012, as reported by People. In a 2017 interview with WSB-TV Atlanta 2, Jason Pettie, the court trustee assigned to Todd's bankruptcy filing, said that he was shocked when he saw the Chrisleys showing off their lavish lifestyle on their reality TV series, which premiered on the USA Network in 2014. "That didn't sit well at all," Pettie told the outlet. "I realized there was a lot of debt propping up the appearance on TV."

Pettie also suspected that Todd and Julie Chrisley were possibly engaging in fraudulent behavior by trying to hide assets from the court. Their attorney claimed that most of the couple's debt, which totaled almost $50 million, was from a failed real estate deal, according to People. When the Chrisleys went to trial for tax fraud and other financial crimes in 2022, the prosecution accused Todd of filing for bankruptcy to wash his hands of $20 million of said debt, which he and Julie had allegedly acquired through fraudulently obtained loans, per Insider.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the USA Network was reportedly aware of the Chrisleys' money woes before their show aired. To keep up appearances and back up his boast that he spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothing each year, Todd fought to prevent his designer duds from being seized by the bankruptcy court trustee by seemingly downplaying his wardrobe's value. He also offered to purchase his clothing back if it was taken, per Radar.

Inside Lindsie Chrisley's disappearance from the show

In 2012, Lindsie Chrisley filed a police report accusing her brother, Kyle Chrisley, of punching her in the face, according to Radar, and he was later charged with a misdemeanor. It was just one of the many hurts Lindsie apparently suffered while growing up Chrisley.

Lindsie's difficulties began when Todd Chrisley and his new wife, Julie Chrisley, decided to expand their family. Julie adopted her, but living with her stepmom and half-siblings made Lindsie feel alienated. "I kind of felt a sense of like I wanted to fit in," she later said on "Coffee Convos with Kail Lowry & Lindsie Chrisley." Unfortunately, her relationship with her father deteriorated as she got older. Todd was furious when Lindsie married Will Campbell, telling E! News that Campbell failed to ask him for Lindsie's hand in marriage. This was a huge strike against his son-in-law. "Lindsie should have never condoned that kind of disrespect," Todd said.

While Todd refused to speak to Campbell, Lindsie said that their contentious relationship was not why she left the show. Rather, it was an alleged verbal altercation with her stepmother. "I felt like the environment was volatile, and I didn't want to be around it. I just felt like it was the best thing for my family and for my wellbeing," she said on "Dr. Phil." But on "Chrisley Confessions," Todd claimed that Lindsie's behavior during the incident got her kicked off the show. "Lindsie was the aggressor," Todd said. "Lindsie provoked it."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The family's battle over Chloe Chrisley

Chloe Chrisley found herself at the center of a bitter family feud when she was just a baby. Chloe is the daughter of Todd Chrisley's oldest son, Kyle Chrisley, and Angela Johnson. In an interview with Life & Style, Johnson said that Kyle struggled with excessive substance use and accused him of violent behavior. "He was talking about stabbing me, then threw a bottle of pills and hit me and Chloe right in the face with them," she alleged. Kyle's parents and Johnson were granted joint custody of Chloe, and she started appearing on "Chrisley Knows Best" with her grandparents. As for Kyle, Todd explained his absence from the show by saying that he sent his son to Africa to work as a volunteer. Per Life & Style, Todd seemed to believe that this would help Kyle with his drug addiction.

In 2014, Kyle shared his side of the story with the Daily Mail, denying Johnson's accusations and expressing his displeasure over Chloe's reality TV career. "My dad showed no interest in Chloe at all until the show," he alleged. But Todd claimed that Kyle was only angry because he wasn't being paid for Chloe's work. When Kyle threatened to take his father to court over the matter, Chloe disappeared from the show in 2016. "There was no way that we were going to pay Kyle a penny," Todd told Radar. However, after a two-season absence, Chloe rejoined the cast for Season 6, per Us Weekly.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Kyle Chrisley claimed his dad bragged about tax evasion

In a 2017 "Good Morning America" interview, Kyle Chrisley claimed that Todd Chrisley boasted about skipping out on his Georgia tax bill. At the time, Todd was under investigation for tax evasion. He was suspected of claiming that his residence was in Florida — not Georgia — to avoid paying state taxes, per WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. "I'd like to see him held accountable," said Kyle of his father.

In 2019, the Chrisleys settled their tax case with the Georgia Department of Revenue. While they were thought to owe the state over $2 million from 2008 to 2016, it was discovered that the couple had actually overpaid their taxes on half of the years that were under scrutiny. There was only one year that they did not pay what they owed, but they were still ordered to fork over nearly $150,000 to the state, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

However, the Chrisleys were still being investigated for federal financial crimes and facing a far more severe punishment when Kyle's "Good Morning America" interview came back to haunt him. In an August 2019 Facebook post, Kyle tried to back up the bus that he had admittedly thrown his parents under in 2017, writing in part, "Everything I said in my interview was a lie." He explained that he was using drugs at the time and was fearful of Todd sending him back to rehab — something his dad couldn't try to do if he was behind bars.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The Chrisleys' bitter blame game

As their financial integrity was called into question, the Chrisleys engaged in a lot of familial finger-pointing. In that same above-mentioned Facebook post, Kyle Chrisley accused his sister, Lindsie Chrisley, and their biological mother, Teresa Terry, of reporting Todd and Julie Chrisley to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Todd also believed that Lindsie was to blame. "We now know that Lindsie went to Kyle and said, 'If you want to get custody of Chloe back, I can help you.' ... Their goal was to cause Julie and I to go to jail," he said on "Chrisley Confessions" in 2021. Todd confirmed that his and Julie's imprisonment would result in Kyle regaining custody of his daughter, Chloe, and he also claimed that Lindsie had an ulterior motive for cooperating with the DOR. "Lindsie's goal was to shut down the show because she had been removed from it, and if she wasn't making any money, the family shouldn't make any money," he stated.

Todd and Julie did allege to have text messages proving that Lindsie had been in regular contact with a Georgia Department of Revenue employee named Joshua Waites, per ET, but the news station WSB-TV 2 Atlanta appeared to take credit for putting the Chrisleys on the DOR's radar, pointing out that the tax investigation began after it published a report about the family's financial activities. In a statement shared in 2019, Lindsie's attorney denied claims that she was also responsible for her parents' arrest in their federal tax case, per ET.

The Chrisleys vs the Georgia Department of Revenue

Hell hath no fury like a Chrisley scorned. After Joshua Waites, the former director of the Georgia Department of Revenue's Office of Special Investigations, spent months communicating with Lindsie Chrisley, Todd and Julie Chrisley decided to take him to court. According to ET, the couple accused Waites of acting improperly in 2019 by relentlessly badgering Lindsie in an effort to build a relationship with her.

Waites' behavior also came under scrutiny by the Office of the Inspector General in Atlanta, which found that Waites had engaged in inappropriate behavior by trying to gain access to the Chrisleys' bank information through incorrect means and bragging about seizing their property. "There was credible evidence to show Todd Chrisley was unfairly targeted for investigation," said the Chrisleys' lawyer in a statement to E! News. By that time, Waites had resigned from the DOR for an unrelated reason. Per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was discovered that he had lied about his college degree.

Todd made certain to let his Instagram followers know that one of his enemies had been removed from the game board in 2020 and vowed to continue going after the Georgia Department of Revenue. However, another ex-DOR employee, Amy Doherty-Heinze, fought back in 2021, filing a libel lawsuit against Todd for making false accusations about her on his podcast and on social media. Per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one alleged example Doherty-Heinze referenced was an Instagram post in which Todd accused her and other DOR employees of taking a trip to Disney World on the taxpayers' dime.

Chrisley Knows Best isn't really reality TV

Todd Chrisley is quite the comedian on "Chrisley Knows Best," but in 2017, Radar reported that someone else was supposedly responsible for cooking up the saucy one-liners that he dishes out with such regularity. "Todd uses a team of comedy writers for his show, and has been using them to write dialogue for several seasons," an insider claimed. Kyle Chrisley also accused the perfectionist patriarch of forcing his family to fake it. "He micromanages everything so if you say something and he doesn't like it he'll say, 'Stop' and tell you what to say and you'll do it again," Kyle claimed to the Daily Mail. One source even alleged to Radar that Todd and Julie Chrisley only pretend to be happily married for the cameras, and when viewers see them having meaningful conversations in bed, those moments are preplanned.

For his part, Todd has always insisted that what viewers see is 100% authentic. In a January 2022 interview with Life & Style, he said, "I mean, you can't script us. First of all, we're not bright enough to follow you in a script, so you're going to get whatever — if it comes up, it comes out."

But during Todd and Julie Chrisley's federal tax trial, the couple's lawyer admitted that the family is often faking it — especially when it comes to flaunting their supposed wealth. "It's all part of the sizzle. It's all part of the show. It's all part of the act," the attorney revealed, per Insider.

The Chrisley kids can't stay out of legal trouble

Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley don't just have to worry about their own legal woes — the couple's kids also keep them on their toes. In May 2019, TMZ reported that Kyle Chrisley had been arrested in Oklahoma on methamphetamine possession charges. However, the charges were dropped because Kyle had an outstanding arrest warrant in Georgia for alleged crimes of a more serious nature. His wife, Alexus Chrisley, claimed that he had threatened her life, per TMZ. Two months after he was reportedly arrested for making terroristic threats, Kyle took to Facebook to reveal that he had gotten sober. "I am at a good place in my life," he added.

While Kyle was trying to get his life back on track, his half-brother, Chase Chrisley, was reportedly taking a page from his parents' playbook by getting in tax trouble. According to The Blast, Chase got slapped with a federal tax lien accusing him of owing over $16,000 in unpaid taxes from 2014.

One of Chase's friends played a role in lengthening the Chrisley family's rap sheet in July 2021. Per TMZ, the pal in question, Austin Duriez, filed a police report claiming that Lindsie Chrisley had tossed a glass at his head. The alleged incident happened at a bar in Atlanta, and Duriez claimed that he got a bouncer to throw Lindsie out. But according to Lindsie's lawyer, it was Duriez who started stirring up trouble first by allegedly harassing her and her friends.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Todd Chrisley was accused of cheating

The feds started looking into Todd Chrisley's shady financial dealings when one of the reality show star's ex-business partners, Mark Braddock, decided to come clean. Per Insider, Braddock admitted to helping Todd and Julie Chrisley defraud financial institutions, but this wasn't the most shocking confession he made about the Chrisleys during their 2022 bank fraud and tax evasion trial: Braddock claimed that Todd was having an extramarital affair with him. He further claimed that someone had gained knowledge of their alleged relationship and used it to blackmail them into forking over $38,000. Braddock explained that his feelings for Todd lingered after their purported year-long affair ended, which is why he agreed to help Todd with his illegal financial schemes.

Todd appeared to reference Braddock without mentioning his name in an August 2019 Instagram post. The reality show star was seemingly trying to take control of the narrative before his indictment was issued by attempting to place all of the blame on Braddock. "It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time," Todd wrote in part. "I won't go into details, but it involved all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything." 

During the 2022 trial, the Chrisleys' attorney also attempted to paint Braddock in an unflattering light by accusing him of having an unhealthy obsession with Todd, per Insider.

Lindsie Chrisley alleged Todd used a sex tape threat to extort her

In a 2019 appearance on "Dr. Phil," Lindsie Chrisley said that she was expecting an apology from Todd Chrisley when she agreed to meet her estranged father at a restaurant. But according to Lindsie, he was not there to make amends — his purported goal was to get her to help him avoid jail by any means necessary. Lindsie recalled that Todd was acting paranoid, and he allegedly accused her of having an affair with someone involved in the federal investigation into his financial activities. When Lindsie tried to steer the conversation toward Todd's treatment of her on social media, he apparently dropped a bombshell. "That's when I got the warning that Chase had incriminating evidence against me — nude photos — and had obtained this tape for $5,000," she said.

Lindsie later filed a police report accusing Todd of extortion. But on "Dr. Phil," Lindsie said that what her father allegedly wanted her to lie about in exchange for not releasing the tape and photos was confusing to her because it was related to the Georgia Department of Revenue's investigation, not the federal trial. She also stated that she didn't know if the alleged sex tape existed, saying that it would have been footage captured on a puppy camera without her knowledge.

Todd denied Lindsie's story, telling TMZ, "Although our hearts are broken, Lindsie is our daughter and we will always love her."

Todd Chrisley accused Lindsie of hooking up with two reality stars

Todd Chrisley fired back with some accusations of his own in response to Lindsie Chrisley's claim that he was trying to extort her — and they involved two men who appeared on "The Bachelorette." In 2019, Todd told Fox News, "We have tried to keep Lindsie's extramarital relationships with Robby Hayes and Josh Murray private for her sake since August of 2016. Sadly, for reasons we can only guess at, she ran to the sheriff's office to accuse her brother of buying a sex tape of her and Robby, which was a complete lie." By dropping those names, Todd subsequently shifted some of the media's focus away from himself.

Murray responded to Todd's remarks by telling ET that he and Lindsie were longtime friends, and he had some advice for the members of the Chrisley family who seemingly benefitted from Lindsie becoming the subject of salacious headlines. "They should probably focus on how not to be imprisoned for 30 years rather than spreading gossip to try and hurt their daughter," he said. 

As for Hayes, on the "Bleav in Behind Bravo" podcast, he confessed that he and Lindsie got caught in the act on a puppy cam, but TMZ learned that the camera didn't record any hanky-panky. Hayes also expressed his support for Lindsie, telling Us Weekly that the two of them were closer than ever. "It's not easy when your whole family betrays you," said Hayes. "But she's strong."

The Chrisleys face prison time

In August 2019, Todd and Julie Chrisley turned themselves in to authorities after being indicted for financial crimes, per CNN. "Todd and Julie Chrisley are charged not only with defrauding a number of banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also with allegedly cheating taxpayers by actively evading paying federal taxes on the money they earned," U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said, per the United States Department of Justice website. The couple's trial began in May 2022, and Lindsie Chrisley testified on their behalf. Per Insider, she retracted her claims about Todd extorting her with a sex tape and tried to paint him as a compassionate family man.

But that June, Todd and Julie were found guilty of their crimes, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On November 22, 2022, Todd received a 12-year prison sentence, while Julie was handed a lesser sentence of seven years. Both of their sentences also included a three-year term of supervised release, per CNN. In true Chrisley fashion, the couple vowed to continue fighting by appealing the case.

Ahead of their sentencing, Todd seemed somewhat regretful over his pursuit of material wealth as he faced the prospect of living behind bars. "I got lost when I couldn't tell the difference in my self-worth and my net worth," he said in a "Chrisley Confessions" episode. "And the bigger my net worth became, the less I focused on my self-worth."