‘Chrisley Knows Best’ stars Julie and Todd Chrisley: What to know about the reality TV couple
Todd and Julie Chrisley are at the center of a federal trial in Atlanta, Georgia, after they were indicted on bank fraud and tax evasion charges stemming from August 2019.
The couple and their children — Savannah, Chase, and Grayson — gained notoriety on their USA Network reality TV shows “Growing Up Chrisley” and “Chrisley Knows Best” plus professional endeavors, including a lucrative Nutrisystem dieting partnership.
Here’s a look at the famous family who was once introduced to America as “a picture-perfect Southern clan who have everything money can buy.”
The Patriarch’s Past
Todd, whose full name is Michael Todd Chrisley, is the owner of Chrisley Asset Management, and made millions in the real estate world, in addition to his success as a house flipper.
He was previously married to high school sweetheart Teresa Terry for seven years before meeting Julie, and the former couple have two children together: daughter Lindsie and son Kyle.
Terry accused Todd of “mental and physical abuse” during their marriage, and at one point, filed a domestic violence case against the reality star before ultimately deciding to divorce Chrisley, which was legally finalized months after he married Julie.
Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley of "Chrisley Knows Best" face multiple fraud and tax evasion charges in Atlanta. The couple attended the grand opening of E3 Chophouse Nashville in 2019.
(Danielle Del Valle)
He had long been estranged from his son, and following an arrest in 2013, Kyle’s six-month-old daughter Chloe — whom he shares with ex Angela Johnson — went to live with The Chrisleys, who soon after, were granted full custody of their granddaughter.
She also became a star of the show, much to Kyle’s dismay after he was kicked off the program following the first season due to his substance abuse and addiction issues.
“My dad is all about control,” Kyle told the Daily Mail in 2014 as he blasted his father for using his daughter as a storyline, in addition to feigning empathy for his addiction problems.
“He’s vindictive and manipulative. He’s a snake, and if there’s a snake in the grass you don’t know, but hell it’ll bite you when you go by.”
Despite a sobriety slip-up and arrest in 2019 related to drug charges, Kyle appears to be married to Ashleigh Nelson and continuing on his journey staying healthy, per Instagram.
THE CHRISLEYS RESPOND AFTER BEING ‘UNFAIRLY TARGETED’ IN TAX EVASION CASE
Todd Chrisley claimed at one point that allegations of tax evasion and bank fraud against him are the fault of a former employee who stole from his family. The "Chrisley Knows Best" star visited Hollywood Today Live on Feb. 24, 2017.
( David Livingston)
Todd previously told PEOPLE that Chloe has “literally changed our lives in so many different ways” and credits the little girl with opening his eyes to racism problems plaguing America. “She’s opened our mind to so many things that we didn’t even know existed.”
The Chrisley family posed for season one of their USA show in 2014. Todd and Julie Chrisley face up to 30 years each in jail for multiple counts of tax and fraud charges.
(Tommy Garcia/USA Network)
He added: “We had never dealt with racism. We have learned that it’s a very prevalent situation in this country. We learned that, unfortunately, the hard way with negative things that were said about her on social media.
“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’s going to cause her to feel less than.”
Julie, 49, was also previously married to her high school love, Kenneth Wayne Childress, in 1991 when she was 18 years old. It’s unclear when she split from her late ex-husband, but she said “I do” to Todd on May 25, 1996, while pregnant with their first son, and gave birth to Chase Chrisley nearly one week later on June 1, 1996.
She previously claimed to have grown up in the pageant circuit, and was once crowned “Miss Carolina,” but a 2014 Radar Online investigation alleged to find no records indicating Julie had ever won a Miss South Carolina or Miss North Carolina crown.
Todd recalled the first time he met his wife while chatting on an episode of their podcast, “Chrisley Confessions,” last year.
“Julie worked at the bank that belonged to one of our friends, and I went in one day, and she was there, and I did a song with Sara Evans about this,” he said, referencing the 2016 ballad “Infinite Love.” “She was wearing a yellow dress and I thought, ‘This is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life.’
“But I met her the first time when she walked into my friend’s house and, it was during the winter months, and I remember when she walked in, and she smiled, I thought, ‘She has got the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.’ And it’s the only woman that has ever literally touched my soul.”
Tragedy hit Julie’s family in May 2002 when her younger brother, Harvey “Trey” Cecil Hunter Hughes, died at the age of 25.
"Chrisley Knows Best" first aired in 2014 and has since received multiple spinoffs.
In 2012, she was diagnosed with breast cancer due to high estrogen levels, and underwent a double mastectomy and a radical hysterectomy, in addition to having her ovaries removed in 2013. She has since been in remission, but battled memory loss, fatigue and weight gain due to medication, which also sparked the couple’s joint weight loss efforts through NutriSystem.
"Chrisley Knows Best" moved production from Atlanta, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee in season four.
Todd’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, Lindsie, 32, admitted her stepmother, Julie, legally adopted her at a young age while discussing her interesting family dynamic on her “Coffee Convos with Kail Lowry & Lindsie Chrisley” podcast in 2018.
“I kind of felt a sense of like I wanted to fit in. I kind of felt like an outcast. Even though they didn’t make me feel like that intentionally, I just felt that way,” she said. “I just wanted to do whatever I could to make myself feel a part of. I always felt like something wasn’t whole.”
Her checkered past with her dad began when she eloped with ex-husband Will Campbell in 2012 without Todd’s approval. She endured an on-off relationship with Campbell through the years, and the pair had one son named Jackson in 2013 before ultimately separating in August 2021 and finalizing their divorce two months later.
TODD CHRISLEY’S ESTRANGED DAUGHTER LINDSIE DENIES LEAKING INFO ON PARENTS’ FINANCES
Lindsie played a recurring role on “Chrisley Knows Best” for five seasons, and left the show for good in 2017.
Shortly after her parents were charged with tax evasion, Lindsie claimed in a police report that her father and brother Chase were “going to release [a] sex tape involving her” and former “The Bachelor” stars, and that “there is an ongoing issue with her family threatening and harassing her.”
Based on the report obtained by E! News, Todd and Chase “wanted her to lie about an incident and if she refused to do so, they were going to release the sex tape involving her.”
Todd responded to the allegations: “It’s heartbreaking and shameful that these kinds of accusations have to be aired in public. 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, and now she’s telling more lies about me.”
He added, “Although our hearts are broken, Lindsie is our daughter and we will always love her.”
Lindsie Chrisley has distanced herself from her family after she accused her father and brother, Chase, of accusing to blackmail her with allegations of a sex tape including former "The Bachelorette" stars.
( Michael Tran)
Murray, who won “The Bachelorette” in 2010, responded to the accusations: “Lindsie and I have been friends for years. I know Todd and his family are going through some tough times right now and I pray everything works out in their favor. They should probably focus on how not to be imprisoned for 30 years rather than spreading gossip to try and hurt their daughter. I truly believe they are good people and I wish them the best in however they choose to go about their actions.”
She also fired back in a statement made through her lawyers: “It was reported that Lindsie was the source of the information that led to her father’s arrest. That is untrue, she was not the source of this information. Lindsie has been a constant target of lies, harassment and threats from her family and as a result, has been distancing herself from the Chrisley family since 2017. Lindsie is currently processing the events that have unfolded. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and pray for a just resolution.”
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Todd reiterated his belief that his daughter was the “catalyst” for the federal investigation and told PEOPLE’s Reality Check in August that Lindsie sent a text message a “couple weeks ago asking if we could sit down with our attorneys present,” to which he replied: “And I am not interested in that.”
He added: “You have to be careful, because anger is a tricky thing. And if you hold on to the anger it almost becomes like the fuel that fuels you to allow it to grow bigger and bigger. And I just don’t have any anger anymore.”
“The hurt is still there, and I think the hurt will always be there. But I’m not looking to intrude in Lindsie’s life. We’re leading a very full life, and I wish nothing but the greatest joys and blessings for Lindsie and for Jackson.”
The couple was initially indicted in August 2019, and a new indictment was filed in February.
They currently face 12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy over a nine-year period, all of which they have denied.
Both Chrisleys are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, five counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of tax fraud. Julie Chrisley is also charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.
Peter Tarantino, an accountant hired by the Chrisleys, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of willfully filing false tax returns. He is set to stand trial alongside the Chrisleys.
If convicted of all counts, the reality personalities will face up to 30 years each behind bars.
The Chrisleys and Tarantino have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been free on bond.
Prosecutors say the couple submitted fake documents to banks when applying for loans, Julie also allegedly submitted a false credit report and fake bank statements when trying to rent a house in California, and then the couple allegedly refused to pay rent a few months after they started using the home.
The Chrisleys also allegedly used their 7C production company to hide income to keep the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes owed by Todd. He also allegedly directed an employee to falsify income and asset documents.
In an Instagram post shared before the indictment was even released, Todd accused a former employee of stealing from the couple and bringing fake documents to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Prosecutors accused the couple of giving the former employee orders to falsify documents in an alleged scheme from 2007-2012, which also involved submitting fake bank and financial statements to financial institutions to get millions of dollars in loans.
Todd and Julie did see a minor court victory in 2019 when the Georgia Department of Revenue cleared the couple of a $2 million state tax evasion charge stemming from a two-year investigation from nearly eight years of returns beginning in 2008.
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Todd and Julie Chrisley’s youngest children, Savannah and Chase, have their own spinoff show: "Growing Up Chrisley"
( Paul Archuleta)
“Julie and I knew all along that we had done nothing wrong and that when the facts all came out, we would be fine,” Todd said in a statement at the time. “We’re just glad that the Department of Revenue was willing to keep an open mind and look at all the evidence.”
The Department of Revenue dropped its claim that the couple owed more than $2.1 million in unpaid state taxes, penalties and interest, and updated the total outstanding debt to under $110,000.
Between 2008-2016, the pair had overpaid taxes four years, and had a net liability of less than $77,000 in overdue taxes for just one year of incorrect filing in 2009, which has since been paid.
“Chrisley Knows Best” has followed the family for nearly one decade, and originally premiered in March 2014 on the USA network.
Todd and Julie initially lived in Georgia before moving their clan to Nashville, Tennessee during the fourth season.
The series was just renewed for a 10th season, and reruns of earlier seasons can be seen on Bravo, E! and on demand.
“Growing Up Chrisley,” featuring the Chrisley children, Chase and Savannah, now 25 and 24 respectively, living in Los Angeles, was just renewed for a fourth season.
Todd received a spin-off focused on him “tackling the truth about marriage, parenting, sex and relationships” with celebrity guests and Chrisley family members, aptly titled “According to Chrisley.” The show ran for one season before it was canceled due to poor ratings.
Todd Chrisley has kept a strong bond with his son, Chase, and daughter, Savannah, despite other familial drama.
(Tommy Garcia/USA Network)
E! recently announced it is moving forward with a new dating series hosted by Todd, called “Love Limo.”
A 10-episode web series of Julie’s favorite recipes, coined “What’s Cooking with Julie Chrisley,” launched in October 2017 on the USA Network’s website.