Todd Chrisley is known as the Southern dad with a sharp tongue on Chrisley Knows Best. After eight seasons on the USA Network, the 51-year-old dad has become a certified reality TV star.
However, Chrisley lived a full life before television stardom that included a nasty divorce, financial troubles, and lots of controversy. Here's everything you should know about the Chrisley family patriarch.
He's navigated plenty of family drama.
Born Michael Todd Chrisley on April 6, 1969, in Georgia, the reality star goes by his middle name "Todd" on his hit USA Network show. He has five biological children: Lindsie, Kyle, Chase, Savannah, and Grayson. Lindsie and Kyle are his children with ex-wife Teresa Terry, whom he met when he was only 21 years old, and she was 19.
The couple divorced in 1996 and, according to the The Daily Mail, Terry claimed that her ex had been physically and verbally abusive throughout their relationship. Todd denied the domestic violence accusations in court.
He is now married to Julie Chrisley, who appears with Todd on Chrisley Knows Best. Todd and Julie have a playful relationship on their reality show, and Julie is the biological mother to Chase, Savannah, and Grayson.
Todd also has full custody of his granddaughter, Chloe, 7, who is the daughter of Todd's son Kyle. "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," Todd told People earlier this month.
His relationship with Chloe's father, Kyle, has been strained over the years, to say the least. In a 2014 interview with The Daily Mail, Kyle accused Todd of using Chloe to get bigger ratings on the show.
His family was destined for reality TV stardom.
The first season of Chrisley Knows Best premiered on March 11, 2014. Todd told OK! Magazine he was approached by production companies, because they felt his family would make for good television. They were right.
"I always knew there was some crazy, but they felt like it was a show," Todd said, adding that they created a sizzle reel, which was pitched to several networks. Producers then told the Chrisleys that out of ten networks, nine put in an offer. "And so I thought, 'Wow, the world really does have a desire for crazy,'" Todd told OK!.
In 2017, it was announced that two of Todd and Julie's children, Chase and Savannah, who regularly appear on Chrisley Knows Best, landed their own spin-off show called Growing Up Chrisley. “This show will follow them as they live on their own and give their parents huge headaches and potential heart attacks," Todd told Us Weekly. Meanwhile, Chrisley Knows Best is currently in its eighth season on USA.
He's a hypochondriac.
As seen on the show, Todd is somewhat of a hypochondriac. His over-the-top personality combined with additional stressors is a dangerous combination. In a Season 8 episode called "Lice, Lice Baby", he suggests that granddaughter Chloe should wear a plastic rain bonnet to school to avoid getting lice (in all fairness, he gave her a choice between the bonnet and a flower-covered swim cap). Before she goes to a friend's sleepover, he sprays her hair with a smelly "concoction" that he made to repel lice. Chloe comes home upset that no one would hang out with her at the party because she was stinky.
Also in season 8 (the "Everlasting Todd" episode), Todd goes as far as renting a hyberbaric chamber and getting IV treatments to improve his health. His wife, Julie, describes his new self-care obsession as taking "extreme measures." When Todd starts missing out on important family activities due to his behavior, he feels "iced out" by the others, resulting in hurt feelings on both sides.
But Todd always comes around and realizes his extremities are getting the best of him. We say keep it up Todd, because it's all oh-so-entertaining.
He can sing. (Really!)
We know Todd loves to entertain—he's known for being on TV, for starters. Besides reality TV star, Todd's resume includes recording artist, too. In 2016, Todd recorded a song called “Infinite Love” (it was on the Billboard charts!) with country music star Sara Evans. He does lives in Nashville, after all. We hear Todd's singing talent shine again in Season 8 when Todd joins his mother, Faye, and her a cappella group called Sexy Pitches.
Speaking of Nashville, country music trio Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus and his family have appeared on Chrisley Knows Best. Keep reading for breaking news on a fun collaboration with those two!
He started his own production company.
Fans are accustomed to seeing Todd on the small screen, but now he has a role—with a pretty impressive title—on the other side of the camera. Devoted fans of Chrisley Knows Best won't be surprised—and some might have even predicted—the latest collaboration between the reality star and his friends, Jay and Allison DeMarcus (you know Jay as one-third of the country music group Rascal Flatts and Allison as his beauty queen wife).
Todd posted a logo for his production company, Todd Chrisley Productions, and this message on his Instagram account @toddchrisley:
"So thrilled and excited for you all to see the fun, exciting and informative shows that I've been developing, today the first new show airs on @netflix with @jaydemarcus and @allisondemarcus with 'Demarcus Family Rules'...it's a feel good great family show for all to see."
Todd is listed as executive producer on the Netflix show.
He's seen financial highs and lows.
According to several reports, Todd is a self-made millionaire who earned his fortune in real estate. However, he hasn't been free of financial troubles despite the lavish lifestyle he and his family lead on Chrisley Knows Best.
According to People, Todd filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in August 2012. He reportedly acquired a $49.4 million debt due to a poor real estate investment. “He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed,” his attorney, Robert Furr, told People. “He was on the hook for $30 million. If he hadn’t had that happen, he would have been fine, financially.”
A more recent report, in February 2017, accused Todd of not filing state income taxes in Georgia, where he resides. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, bankruptcy trustee Jason Pettie said he oversaw Chrisley's filings and did not see one for Georgia.
Todd denied the allegations to TMZ, stating that he has homes in Georgia, Florida, Nashville, and Los Angeles and that the reports were simply not true.
Whether or not Todd's financial troubles were tabloid fodder or not, one thing's for sure—he and his family have built a successful television franchise. And it seems to be growing thanks to an estimated $75 million production deal Todd was reportedly close to signing in August 2017. Perhaps Chrisley really does know what's best.
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