Tragic Things You Never Knew About The Chrisley Family

The following includes discussions of attempt in suicide, addiction, and mental health.

"Chrisley Knows Best" made its grand debut in March 2014 on USA Network and, since then, has taken the reality television world by storm. If you haven't had the chance to binge-watch this series yet, allow us to give you a quick rundown of what it's all about. The show is centered on the Chrisleys, a wealthy southern family who live in Nashville, Tennessee and showcase their over-the-top, everyday life living in luxury. The family consists of patriarch Todd Chrisley, wife Julie, and children Savannah, Chase, and Grayson. Additionally, Todd's children from his first marriage, Lindsie and Kyle, pop in throughout the show, but if there is one person we absolutely cannot forget about, it's Todd's hilarious mother, Nanny Faye, who never fails to bring her sass and humor to the series. And lastly, of course, there is Chloe Chrisley, Todd's granddaughter. 

According to a press release from NBCUniversal, since the show has aired, it averages 1.5 million total viewers, so clearly it's popular. But as entertaining and drama-filled as the series is, it's nothing compared to what the Chrisleys have gone through behind the scenes. Here are some of the most tragic things the Chrisley family has endured.

Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy in 2012

If you are a fan of the show, then you know that the Chrisleys love incorporating the finer things into their luxurious lifestyles. Whether it's fancy cars or designer clothing, the show is heavily focused on showing the impressive wealth of the family. However, the Chrisleys have run into quite a few financial issues since entering stardom in 2014. According to People, the former real estate mogul found himself deep in a financial hole after a business investment turned sour and needed to file a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2012. He allegedly listed more than $4.2 million in assets; however, he owed nearly $50 million. His attorney Robert Furr told People, "He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed. He was on the hook for $30 million. If he hadn't had that happen, he would have been fine, financially."

Although there was speculation that the Chrisley couple was being dishonest and hiding their wealth, the Chrisleys' lawyers proved that he had nothing to hide during this case. "He has cooperated fully," said Furr. "He has been totally honest and forthright. He is not hiding assets." 

The Chrisleys were accused of tax evasion

Todd Chrisley's file for bankruptcy wasn't the only public financial situation the Chrisleys found themselves in. According to People, the "Chrisley Knows Best" stars were accused of evading almost $2 million between 2008 and 2016 in state taxes, wire fraud, and conspiracy bank fraud. Todd addressed the situation in a post that he shared on Instagram in August 2019. "We discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time ... 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," he wrote. "Not only do we know we've done nothing wrong, but we've got a ton of hard evidence and a bunch of corroborating witnesses that proves it." 

In October 2019, the Chrisley family was cleared of the $2 million tax evasion charge by the Georgia Department of Revenue. The Chrisleys were reported to have overpaid in four of those years and owed less than $77,000 for one year due to incorrect filing (via E! News). "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 (via People). "We're just glad that the Department of Revenue was willing to keep an open mind and look at all the evidence."

Savannah Chrisley's engagement didn't work out

Unfortunately, Savannah Chrisley hasn't had much luck in the love department as of recently. In September 2020, Savannah and her fiancé at the time, NHL player Nic Kerdiles, called off their engagement. According to Us Weekly, the pair met on Instagram in November 2017 (a true modern-day love story) and got engaged in December 2018. She later explained on the "Chrisley Confessions" podcast that her and Kerdile were moving too quickly and decided to postpone their wedding. "We both realized that things moved way too fast and we needed to go back to dating," she said on the podcast (via Us Weekly). In an exclusive interview with E! News, she stated that her and her boo were taking a step back in order to focus on and strengthen their "God-centered" relationship.

A short three months later, the TV personality shared on Instagram in a now-deleted post that the duo officially ended their relationship. Chrisley explained to Us Weekly that there is no bad blood between them and that they are each taking time to work on themselves. "I'm focusing on me and I feel like that is the best way to go," she said. "And you know, it is what it is."

Lindsie Chrisley isn't looking to reconcile with her estranged father

Todd Chrisley and Lindsie Chrisley, his estranged daughter from his first marriage, have an incredibly complicated relationship. It all started when Todd accused Lindsie of having an affair during her eight-year marriage to Will Campbell with a Georgia Department of Revenue official — specifically, the official who was investigating the family for tax evasion, as Lindsie told Dr. Phil

Not too long after, Lindsie filed a police report claiming that her father and brother Chase Chrisley were "threatening and harassing her" to release an alleged sex tape involving her that her brother had purchased, as E! News reported. Lindsie claimed that they "wanted her to lie about an incident" and if she refused, they were going to release the tape. Todd denied the allegations in a statement to E! News and accused her of cheating on her husband with two reality stars, saying, "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 [Bachelor Nation stars] Robby Hayes and Josh Murray private for her sake since August of 2016."

In September 2021, Lindsie told Entertainment Tonight that she has no interest in having a relationship with her family. "There will never be a reconciliation," she said. "I think that the most that anyone could ask for at this point is for everyone to go on with their lives as they see fit and to just leave the other side alone."

Todd and Julie Chrisley have seen hateful comments directed at their granddaughter

Dealing with online trolls is never an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to personal attacks on family members and loved ones. Julie Chrisley spoke with Page Six in January 2021 about the horrible racist remarks and comments people on the internet have made towards her biracial granddaughter, Chloe Chrisley, whom her and her husband, Todd, share custody of. "I can deal with just about anything, but the things that people have said about her on social media are absolutely unfathomable," she said. "It breaks my heart and it makes me realize just how far we as a country still have to go." 

One month later, Todd Chrisley spoke out further regarding the racist comments. "What I do see is that we, as a white couple in America, have never dealt with racism until Chloe and we have been in that privileged sector of not having to have that added stress on us as people," he said (via People). He added, "We needed to be able to use our platform to help those who may not have a voice."

Fortunately, the Chrisleys said they protect their granddaughter from seeing the horrible comments.

The family has dealt with a seriously scary stalker

Like many celebrities and public figures, the Chrisleys have unfortunately experienced a scary stalker situation. In March 2021, Todd and Julie Chrisley opened up about the situation on an episode of their podcast "Chrisley Confessions" titled "The Dark Web, Respecting Boundaries, and Dealing with Life as It Comes." "We've been dealing with this stalker situation and it has now gone to another level," Todd said. "I mean to where we have 24-hour security. ... This guy is a drug addict, he has been arrested multiple times ... He's gone to jail, I mean ... he's been in psych wards. You name it, he's done it." 

The Chrisleys explained a lot of the fascination was towards their daughter Savannah and how the alleged stalker purchased her phone number off "the dark web," as well as hacked social media platforms of all the family members. The situation has affected their livelihoods and their ability to sleep at night, even with security guards around their home and with Savannah at all times. 

Todd continued that a criminal warrant has been signed for the person causing this issue "because he finally crossed the line in something that he did that allowed the state of Tennessee and this jurisdiction to go after him." 

Kyle Chrisley lost custody of his daughter

If you aren't actively watching "Chrisley Knows Best," allow us to break down the major custody battle that took place involving Todd Chrisley, his son Kyle, and Kyle's daughter with Amber Johnson, Chloe. In 2014, Todd and Julie Chrisley were granted custody of Chloe and she began living with them permanently due (via Good Morning America). According to E! News, Kyle struggled with substance abuse and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Chloe's mother has also run into trouble with the law, as Starcasm reported in April 2016 that she was arrested for Medicaid fraud.

But issues between Kyle and his parents regarding Chloe persisted. In an interview with Radar Online in September 2016, Todd discussed his decision to take Chloe off "Chrisley Knows Best" due to an ongoing legal battle that prevented her from being on the show unless Kyle got paid. Kyle allegedly threatened to sue USA Network, which resulted in her getting pulled from the show for some time. "At the end of the day, we had to do what was best for Chloe," Todd said. "We did not want to drag her through all this and there was no way that we were going to pay Kyle a penny."

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Todd Chrisley and his oldest son, Kyle, have a complicated relationship

As much as the Chrisley family tries to show off their seemingly perfect lives in front of the camera, it is no secret that Todd and his eldest son, Kyle Chrisley, have definitely faced some rough times throughout their relationship. According to Radar Online, things became tense after Kyle allegedly threatened to kill his father while he was under the influence of drugs. Kyle, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was removed from the family's reality show. "He refused to take his medication. He was hostile to the crew. He was hostile to other people on the show and you can't have that," Todd explained to E! News, noting that he "didn't kick Kyle off the show." It is safe to say Kyle felt a certain way about this decision because he later told the Daily Mail that his father is a snake who "ruined me and he's ruined the other three kids he's had who are spoiled." 

Fortunately these days, Kyle and his father are working on rebuilding their relationship and are in a better place. In August 2019, Kyle shared that he is no longer estranged from his father. "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," he wrote in a post on Facebook.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Kyle Chrisley had a scary hospitalization

"NOT TODAY SATAN, NOT TODAY ... Kyle is great and we are back to the grind," Todd Chrisley captioned an Instagram post featuring his family surrounded by his son lying in a hospital bed in August 2019. One week after this post was shared, the "Chrisley Knows Best" star's son opened up on the "Chrisley Confessions" podcast to address the reason behind his hospitalization, opening up about his mental health and struggles with addiction. "I take medication and I had a bad side effect to it, and I tried to take my own life," Kyle said. Although he was not specific about what particular medication he was taking, he noted that "suicidal tendencies" were one of the side effects and confirmed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder years prior.

Amidst the health scare, Kyle stated that, with the help of his new medication and support from his family, he has what it takes to move forward on the right path. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Julie Chrisley was diagnosed with cancer

In 2012, Julie Chrisley was diagnosed with breast cancer. In an interview with The Tennessean, she opened up about her cancer journey and how supportive her husband, Todd Chrisley, was during the entire process. She stated that he encouraged her to get the life-saving mammogram after two of their close friends were diagnosed with cancer. "I did it to appease him so he would shut up and leave me alone," Julie said. After getting a biopsy done, doctors revealed she had cancer, and she decided to undergo a double mastectomy. 

She claims that her relationship with her husband grew even stronger during a vulnerable moment when he helped her shower after being released from the hospital. "I truly believe that that moment took our relationship to a whole other level because he never flinched," she said, according to People. "He was in the shower with me, he took all of my bandages off, and he never flinched." Some times after the double mastectomy, Julie received breast implants and started to feel like "a new woman."

Todd Chrisley's first marriage turned sour after two kids

High school sweethearts don't always stay together. Although there are definitely some couples that beat all odds, the same can't be said for Todd Chrisley and his first wife, Teresa Terry. Terry and Todd met and began dating while they were in high school, and she became pregnant with their first child, Lindsie, when she was 19 years old (via Distractify). They later turned into a family of four when they welcomed their son, Kyle, into the world, and together they had a "very southern, very laid back" relationship, as she told the Daily Mail.

Things quickly took a turn for the worse. In her interview with Daily Mail, Terry accused her ex-husband of physical and mental abuse during their seven-year marriage. "Sometimes I think he doesn't realize the way he is," she said. "He's so used to being controlling and vindictive that he doesn't even see it anymore." She revealed that, if she hadn't gotten pregnant at the time, their marriage wouldn't have happened at all. 

Since their divorce, Terry remarried and now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their children and grandchildren.