The Truth About Todd Chrisley's First Wife Teresa Terry

Todd Chrisley is best known as the dad on USA Network's Chrisley Knows Best. He's been married to his second wife, Julie Chrisley, since May 1996, and the two share three children together: Chase, Savannah, and Grayson. Todd is also dad to his daughter Lindsie and his son Kyle, who he shares with his first wife, Teresa Terry.

While Todd and Julie appear to have a solid relationship on the show, it's Todd Chrisley's first marriage that intrigues many people. Distractify notes that Todd Chrisley and Teresa Terry met in high school and she conceived their first child at the age of 19. It seems their marriage quickly turned sour, and the Daily Mail reports that Terry accused Chrisley of both physical and mental abuse throughout their seven-year marriage. The publication revealed that the pair's divorce documents note that Terry claimed her ex-husband waged a "campaign of mental and physical abuse."

But before all that, it sounds like the two had a pretty normal relationship: "It was all very Southern, very laid back, eating meals with family, that sort of thing. Todd and I would go to the movies, hang out. He was never one for big crowds. He always belonged somewhere else. He carried himself different. He always wanted to wear the latest fashions, most of the people we went to school with were happy to wear T-shirts and jeans. He wanted to get his clothes at Neiman Marcus" (via the Daily Mail).

Teresa Terry and Todd Chrisley got married after she got pregnant

Speaking with the Daily Mail in 2014 in an exclusive interview, Teresa Terry shared her thoughts on Chrisley filing for bankruptcy. She said, "I think it would be difficult for anybody to lose that much but his philosophy is, 'He who has the gold makes the rules.' I don't know how he'll function without his money."

She went on, "I think his control mechanisms drive him and if there's something he can't control... I'd be fearful for him and of him." She then added that Chrisley had changed since they first met, and she's unsure what happened to him. She remembers him being "very witty and funny," but also that things had to go his way and if they did not, there would "be consequences."

Teresa Terry has since remarried and lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their two children. She told the Daily Mail that her first marriage wouldn't have happened at all if she hadn't been pregnant. "Most likely we wouldn't have married if I hadn't been pregnant but we did and it was a big deal."

Teresa Terry says Todd Chrisley had a lot of expectations

Teresa Terry also told the Daily Mail that Chrisley's need to micromanage a situation applied to her as well. "I like to put on a ball cap, put my hair in a ponytail and go out," she said. "But with him your hair always had to be fixed and you had to be dressed to the tens. I grew tired of being constantly corrected, and I would run my mouth. Sometimes I think he doesn't realize the way he is. He's so used to being controlling and vindictive that he doesn't even see it anymore."

His control also appears to have extended to their children, with Terry filing a complaint of "unlawful abduction" against Chrisley in 1994 after she left their home. The pair's oldest child, Lindsie, was in the care of Chrisley's parents at the time, and Terry had a hard time getting her back at first. She and Chrisley endured a contentious custody battle that Terry has also claimed damaged her relationship with her daughter.

This said, Lindsie recently spoke about her mother in November of 2020. In response to Instagram questions about Terry, Lindsie said that unlike her father or herself, her mother never agreed to be in the spotlight and for that reason, she would refrain from speaking about her (via TV Shows Ace). Lindsie did offer that she does speak to her mom though and sees her maternal grandparents, which is more than can be said of her relationship with Chrisley.

Teresa Terry moved on after their divorce

Fortunately, Teresa Terry was able to move on after her divorce from Todd Chrisley was finalized. Both Chrisley and Terry were awarded joint physical custody of their children, and Terry eventually dropped the charge of domestic violence. Terry moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with her partner and her kids, but she told the Daily Mail that she felt Chrisley had hired someone to track her down. One night, she noticed a red laser coming into her home.

She shared, "I really thought I was fixing to get shot." But she later learned she had been recorded and Chrisley "sent the footage to a television special on cheating wives. The first I knew of it was when my parents called because they'd seen it on TV. You just cannot imagine how vindictive he can be."

In the end though, Terry says she wouldn't take back her marriage. "It's been a wild ride, I'll tell you that. But I don't regret marrying Todd because I sure don't regret my children."