Todd Chrisley is known as the Southern dad with a sharp tongue on Chrisley Knows Best. After six seasons on the USA Network, the 49-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.
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 , 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, 5, who is the daughter of Todd's estranged 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 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 , Kyle accused Todd of using Chloe to get bigger ratings on the show.
Reality TV stardom
Season 1 of Chrisley Knows Best premiered on March 11, 2014. Todd told magazine in 2014 that he was approached by production companies All3Media and Maverick TV, 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 Chase and Savannah, who regularly appear on Chrisley Knows Best, landed their . “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 sixth season on USA.
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 , 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 , bankruptcy trustee Jason Pettie said he oversaw Chrisley's filings and did not see one for Georgia.
Todd 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 Todd was reportedly close to signing in August 2017. Perhaps Chrisley really does know what's best.