Michael Todd Chrisley, mononymously known as Todd, is an American former reality star and host of the USA Network reality series “Chrisley Knows Best”, and the patriarch of the Chrisley family who is the focal point of the series.
“Chrisley Knows Best”, much like its predecessor programs such as “The Osbournes”, and perhaps even “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, follows the day-to-day lives of Todd and his family. While the show centres on the family dynamic, providing entertainment through the Chrisleys’ turmoils and drama, it also takes the opportunity to flaunt the wealthy lifestyle enjoyed by the members of the Chrisley family.
The series began airing in 2014 after going into production the year before, and while the Chrisleys might not be as popular as the Kardashians, the show did receive positive reception among American, Australian and British audiences. “Chrisley Knows Best” was renewed for a second season, and Todd went on to host the cameras in the family’s Southern mansion for a total of ten seasons.
The show also produced several specials, as well as a spin-off series “Growing Up Chrisley”, which focused on the Chrisley children, Savannah and Chase. The spin-off aired its first episodes in 2019, during the fourth season of the parent show, and only a couple of years before the Chrisley family faced their ruin.
While Todd and his second wife Julia, who is also a star of the show and hosts a cooking podcast on USA Network’s online platform, earned recognition as the parental team of a reality television family, they earned viral exposure for a brief time in 2022, and earlier in 2019, when the pair stood accused of tax evasion and fraud, making it publicly known that the Chrisley’s enjoyed a lavish lifestyle through embezzlement.
Naturally, especially those who grew fond of the chaotic, and at times crazy family, people were disappointed to learn that the bright and brilliant family they watched for many years became convicted criminals.
In 2022, after facing judgement in a federal court, both Todd and his wife, Julia, were sentenced to serve time in a correctional facility, subsequently bringing both “Chrisley Knows Best” and “Growing Up Chrisley” to an end. The tenth and final season of the original series produced prior to the Chrisleys’ 2022 trial, aired in 2023.
With so many disappointed fans and viewers expressing an interest in knowing more about the crimes Todd and his wife committed, though with an intentional focus on the role Todd played, it would be expected that we would provide an elaborated look at the sad, but still prosperous life Todd once lived as a free man.
What To Expect?
As such, we will begin by diving into Todd Chrisley’s life, seeking out all that is known about his youth, followed by his career as both a respected real estate salesman and a reality television host and star.
Following this, in our search for the truth about Chrisley, we will take a look at the family, introducing all the known members while also review the drama they’ve experienced over the years. As we continue to discuss Todd’s life, we will also elaborate on his past history, including the difficulties Todd survived during his first marriage.
Then, finally, we will discuss all the events concerning the tax evasion and fraud conviction of Todd and Julia, starting in 2019 when rumours first began circulating of the couple’s shenanigans. We will follow their trial and conviction as much as we are privy to know.
Of course, the wealth they once knew is now exchanged for cold prison cells, and their financial status is also completely ruined, but some viewers and fans continue to show their support, insisting that, in time, Todd and Julia will return to keep them entertained again. Unfortunately, it might be nothing but wishful thinking.
The Chrisley's keep us smiling every day. 😁📸: Todd Chrisley
Todd, The Southern Family Man
Regrettably, there is very little information to divulge about Todd’s younger life, safe for a well-known fact about the reality star that is perhaps easily noticed. As some may know, Todd Chrisley is a full-blooded Southern American, which is distinctly easy to pick up on in Chrisley’s accent.
Though it’s not exactly known where Todd was born, it was repeatedly mentioned in the show that Todd, and his mother, known as ‘Nanny’ Faye, originally hailed from Atlanta, Georgia. However, Todd has expressed in numerous interviews that he spent most of his childhood living in Westminster, South Carolina, where he was raised and attended school.
Some may know that Todd grew especially renowned for his unique television persona, characterised by his friendly, Southern accent and mannerisms, and his rather fashionable, colourful wardrobe, but mostly because of his deep-rooted passion for family life. Perhaps also because of his appearance, which some considered to be charmingly handsome.
As was shown on “Chrisley Knows Best”, Todd appeared to be a dedicated family man who provided his loved ones with a comfortable lifestyle, while also emphasising his desire to keep his family happy and tightly knit together. Following his youth and coming of age, Chrisley began working as a real estate sales agent, fashioning a career for himself in property development.
Over the years Todd established his career, gaining insight and experience in his chosen speciality, and made people believe for many years that his success was drawn from his profitable real estate investments, according to certain sources, claiming that 95% of his fortune comes from his success as a real estate agent. The many luxury mansions the Chrisleys lived in over the course of “Chrisley Knows Best”, also act as strong evidence to show Todd’s keen eye for valuable property.
At one point in 2010, following the exposure Chrisley enjoyed from appearing on a reality series, Todd hosted a webinar series teaching those interested all the secrets of his trade. Todd also offered his personal insight into financial management, teaching his students how to invest and use the profits gained from selling real estate.
In 2013, Todd was approached by the producers of “Chrisley Knows Best”, as they expressed an interest in the lives of the Chrisley family with the hope of creating an all-new family-orientated reality show. As Todd would later reveal, he was never surprised about the proposition on offer, as he had always known that his family harboured a little bit of craziness, which the producers thought would be valuable entertainment.
As it turned out, Todd was a natural on television, as was his family, and the creation of “Chrisley Knows Best” became a celebrated success. According to the producers, they pitched the idea to ten different networks and gained offers from nine of the potential channels. Ultimately, the series was sold to USA Network, and the rest became history.
In 2015, with Todd embarking on his career as a television host, Chrisley turned his focus to reality television hoping to expand his career. Todd created a concept for a talk show, which he would host, and at the time also created the early concept for a spin-off series focused on the Chrisley children.
— Todd Chrisley (@toddchrisley) March 7, 2019
Todd did not stop there, however, as his fame grew and his interest in reality television developed, Chrisley began working on several different projects. In 2017, Todd launched an unsuccessful series called “According To Chrisley”. Todd was the resident host and would engage in interviews with celebrity guests, or members of the Chrisley family, talking about the difficulties of everyday, family life, but the series was cancelled after the first season due to poor reception.
In October of 2017, Todd’s wife Julia began hosting a cooking podcast on USA Network’s website, known as “What’s Cooking With Julia”. Ultimately, the podcast was a success and featured ten episodes that afforded the Chrisley mother her own respective fame.
In 2018, Todd and Julia launched a podcast series on iHeartradio entitled “Chrisley Confessions”, which grew quite popular among iHeartradio’s audiences. In 2019, the spin-off series “Growing Up Chrisley” launched, earning the same success as the original series.
By 2022, shortly before the Chrisley family’s fall, Todd created the concept of a romantic documentary he hoped to host, helping single hopefuls find love through speed dating. The series, which would have been called “Love Limo”, was scrapped and never produced, as Todd would go on to face judgement for his crimes.
Sadly, this marked the end of Chrisley’s career as a reality television star, and perhaps even as a real estate agent, as it seems unlikely that anyone would trust Todd and Julia ever again.
The Truth Behind The Chrisley Family
“Chrisley Knows Best” featured the expanse of the Chrisley family, including Todd, his wife Julia, Todd’s mother Faye Chrisley, five of Todd’s children, two from his first marriage, and the youngest grandchild, Chloe.
The Chrisley children include the two oldest siblings, Lindsie Campbell, Todd’s daughter from his first marriage, and Chase Chrisley, Todd’s oldest son. Chrisley’s three children conceived with Julia include Savannah, Grayson and Kyle Chrisley.
Like many other families, the Chrisleys had their fair share of drama, ups, downs, and tragic events, which includes Kyle’s substance abuse and rebellious behaviour that stemmed from his struggle with mental illness. As some might know, Kyle was diagnosed with Manic Depression, or Bipolar Disorder as most people have come to know the disease. As such, Kyle’s role on “Chrisley Knows Best” was somewhat antagonistic, and resulted in Todd and Julia gaining custody of Kyle’s daughter, Chloe.
However, Kyle wasn’t the only sibling who provided difficulties for Todd and Julia to deal with, as Todd’s relationship with Lindsie also endured a tough strain from the history Todd shared with his first wife.
Lindsie featured for some time in “Chrisley Knows Best”, but after an argument she had with her father, Lindsie departed from the show, even going so far as to remove herself from the Chrisley family; according to a statement made by her legal representative, she hoped to move on with her life, though accused her family, specifically Todd, of denying her peace and quiet. It was also stated that the Chrisley family constantly harassed her, and even spread lies about her, adding to the reason why Lindsie left the show.
In response, Todd posted a social media update in which he expressed his disappointment with Lindsie, accusing her of engaging in multiple romantic relationships formed out of wedlock. Todd also added that it’s heartbreaking that the family’s differences earned public discussions, but continued to try and keep the Chrisley family glued together. Since then, Lindsie and Todd haven’t seen eye to eye, and their relationship has yet to recover.
As for Kyle, while his relationship with his parents was a chaotic rollercoaster ride, in 2017 it hit its all-time low when Kyle berated his father during a candid interview. Discussing his life, role in the series, and his narcotic addictions, Kyle revealed some of the family’s secrets, among which Kyle mentioned that Todd and Julia had been evading taxes. This was what led to the state of Georgia launching an investigation into Todd’s fortune.
Then in 2019, as his parents stood trial on his accusations, Kyle came forward after leaving the family for a while, announcing that he’s sober again and that he intends to fix his relationship with his parents. Kyle approached Todd, and reported that his father welcomed him back with open arms, saying that his father will always love his children, despite the many difficulties their relationship endured.
In addition, Kyle also admitted that he falsely accused his parents of tax evasion, which later proved to be true when Todd and Julia’s tax evasion trial concluded that they were innocent. However, they still faced federal charges of fraud, which became their undoing.
Now, with Kyle improving his life, viewers hoped that he would be able to regain custody of Chloe, and perhaps the father and daughter could have a meaningful relationship. As of writing, there have been no reports to confirm that Kyle and Chloe reunited, though dedicated viewers are keeping up their hopes.
As for Todd’s relationship with the remaining members of the family, as was shown on “Chrisley Knows Best”, the Southern reality television host and personality seemed to hold nothing but respect and love for his wife Julia, and his mother Nanny Faye, whom he clearly loves wholeheartedly.
However, according to Todd’s ex-wife, Teresa Terry, Todd is more of a villain than the cameras would show the viewers, and had several negative opinions about her ex-husband and high school sweetheart that would make Chrisley out to be a maniac.
Today, there are only two women in Todd Chrisley’s life, namely Julia and his mother Nanny Faye, with Todd going so far as to admit that Julia is the only lover and partner he has ever loved. It’s clear that there’s no love lost between Todd and his ex-wife, Teresa, despite the sweet sentiments they may have shared as young adults.
Todd and Teresa met in high school and became high school sweethearts, though they both would admit that marriage was not on the books for them, and the only reason they got married was out of obligation. The two formed an extramarital relationship from which two children were born. The first, Todd’s oldest child Lindsie, was the reason they tied the knot, but according to Teresa, their time together was an absolute disaster.
With Todd admitting that he never loved Teresa Terry, gossip publications, of course, sought to find out more from Terry, and perhaps reveal the true nature behind their failed romance, and as it turned out, Terry had a lot to say.
While some people simply considered Teresa’s account of her relationship with Todd as wild accusations, some might have believed her, and in all honesty, she seemed very convincing during the interviews.
According to Terry, Todd was an extremely abusive person, and as Teresa would explain, his misbehaviour stemmed from his controlling nature, which “Chrisley Knows Best” certainly exposed about the reality television personality.
Teresa accused Chrisley of being violent, towards her, the children, and even his own mother, making what was shown in the series appear contradictory to the truth Terry revealed. Terry even stated that at one point Todd threatened to kill her, and the two mutually agreed to part ways.
Other accusations include Teresa stating that Todd was a manipulative bully who frequently assaulted her, and would resort to mental abuse to ensure he remained in control of everything. However, Teresa did admit that she too had a fault in the relationship, as she, like Chrisley, was a strong-willed person who would not be submissive, and this placed their relationship under too much strain. Even Terry said that, was it not for her pregnancy, they would never have married.
Naturally, Todd denied all the allegations, but his relationship with the mother of his oldest children never improved, and to this day, Teresa and Todd do not share their company. Regardless, they still raised their children together, though Todd’s relationships with his and Teresa’s children were not any better than his relations with their mother.
The Rise and Fall of Todd Chrisley
Other than the usual family drama, the Chrisleys faced a tragic event when Julia was diagnosed with cancer. Following her struggle with the disease, Julia credited Todd as the one who encouraged her to undergo a monogram, which helped her quick recovery. Julia also stated that during this hard time, Todd hardly slept, but fortunately, everything turned out for the best.
Sadly though, following the family’s struggle with cancer, the Chrisleys would eventually face their demise, which came in the form of federal prosecution on charges of fraud. The whole story behind Todd and Julia’s embezzled fortune was complicated, but the full details of their trial earned public attention, perhaps even making the Chrisley duo more famous, if perhaps for all the wrong reasons.
Initially, in 2019, the state of Georgia launched a tax evasion investigation against Todd and Julia Chrisley, but ultimately, Todd was able to prove that it was a simple and honest misunderstanding. Todd and Julia were proven innocent, but the tax evasion trial led to a federal investigation.
In 2022, Todd and Julia went to trial on multiple charges of fraud, and the three-week-long trial resulted in a successful prosecution. The charges filed against the Chrisleys include providing falsified details to various banks and financial organisations to apply for loans estimated to total $30 million, as well as hiding funds from the tax office.
On 21 November 2022, Todd and Julia were sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison, with Todd receiving 12 years, and Julia seven years. Since then, Lindsie stated publicly that the Chrisley family hired a new legal team to appeal their sentencing. As of yet, no reports exist about Todd and Julia’s application for an appeal.
Todd and Julie Chrisley have been sentenced to federal prison after being found guilty in a tax evasion case.
Todd will face 12 years in federal prison and Julie will face 7 years.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 21, 2022
Things on reality television might seem rosy, or perhaps dramatic, but as everyone would know by now, the reality shown on our screens could be fabricated for entertainment value. However, in the case of the Chrisley family, it was disappointing to learn that their wealth and lavish lifestyle were the biggest lie in “Chrisley Knows Best”.
Of course, we wish the remaining family, and even Todd and Julia, all the best, and hope that they might recover from their fall, but a valuable lesson about reality television has been learned, and that is that a lot of it can’t be trusted.
If you have remained a supporter of the vibrant Chrisley family, and might be interested in reliving their time as reality television stars, then feel free to catch any of the re-runs of “Chrisley Knows Best”, or “Growing Up Chrisley”. However, do not expect the Chrisleys to return anytime soon, as for now, they face their judgement.