EXCLUSIVE: Disgraced Todd Chrisley, 54, feels ‘hopeless and broken’ behind bars – and is wracked with guilt for letting his own ‘GREED’ destroy his family and his reality TV empire
Four months into his 12 year prison sentence, disgraced former reality star Todd Chrisley is bitterly struggling with life behind bars – and is overcome with guilt at letting his own ‘greed’ destroy his family and his empire.
A source close the the Chrisley Knows Best family tells DailyMail.com that the true reality of their situation has finally set in for both Todd, 54 – whose wife Julie, 50, is serving seven years at a prison in Lexington, Kentucky and that ‘he is not a happy camper on the inside like he was on the outside.’
Despite both Todd and Julie maintaining their innocence – and launching an appeal against the verdict – the insider explained that the former reality TV star feels incredibly guilty for allowing his ‘greed’ to get the better of him.
’12 years is a very, very long time and it already feels like a lifetime to him. Todd is starting to feel hopeless. He is aware that his greed caused all of this,’ the insider says.
The self-coined ‘patriarch of perfection’ who once boasted that he spent $300,000 on clothes in one year, has ‘let himself go,’ the source adds. ‘He is not able to get skin treatments and his hair is no longer dyed blonde. He is looking worse for wear.’
Todd and Julie were convicted in June 2022 by a 10 person jury on charges including bank fraud, tax evasion, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and conspiring to defraud IRS. They entered prison in January to begin their lengthy sentences.
Although they are currently appealing their conviction in hopes of getting it overturned, their chances of winning the appeal are slim, as only five percent of federal convictions are overturned in the United States.
‘After their conviction, Todd hired power attorney’s at Burr and Forman to take on their appeal, but it is going so slow for them,’ the insider says.
‘They were told from people on the inside very familiar with the process that, despite them believing they did not get a fair trial and the court errored, overturning the jury’s decision is next to impossible. The are both aware of this.’
Due to the nature of their crimes, they are not permitted to speak on the phone with one another for the entire seven years that Julie is locked up. They are allowed to email, but the emails are ‘heavily’ guarded and monitored.
That has not stopped them from contacting each other however, with the source telling DailyMail.com that their kids have become messengers to ‘relay letters back and forth between them when they visit on the weekends.’
During their crime spree, they defrauded banks of $36 million to make fans think that they were already wealthy. The Department of Justice stated it best in their press release following the Chrisley’s conviction.
‘The Chrisleys spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel — and used new fraudulent loans to pay back old ones,’ the statement read.
‘After spending all the money, Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy and walked away from more than $20 million of the fraudulently obtained loans.’
Todd often boasted about his wealth on their reality show, including the two mansions that he owned worth $9 million, the $300,000 a year he spent on clothes and a vintage Corvette he purchased during their criminal investigation worth $250,000.
Prior to his incarceration, Todd himself admitted that he became a ‘slave’ to money during a candid episode of his and Julie’s podcast, telling listeners: ‘I got lost when I couldn’t tell the difference between my self worth and my net worth.
‘The bigger my net worth became, the less I focused on my self worth because everything was being built around that net worth. Around stuff… You became a slave to the things that you thought were going to bring you peace.’
Todd and Julie were required to pay back $17 million prior to entering prison liquidated their wealth tremendously.
Todd and Julie are also the parents of son Chase, 26, and Grayson, 16, while Todd also shares daughter Lindsie, 33, and son Kyle, 31, with his ex-wife Teresa Terry. In 2016, Todd and Julie gained custody of their son Kyle’s daughter Chloe, 10, with his ex Angela Johnson.
The custody was handed to Savannah when her parents entered prison – something that has left the 25-year-old struggling to cope, the insider added.
‘Savannah is just not coping well with trying to be a mom to Chloe and her brother Grayson,’ they shared.
This past Mother’s Day, Savannah wrote on Instagram that the special holiday ‘hit hard,’ adding, ‘I’ve been DREADING the holidays. First it was Easter, then Dad’s birthday, now Mother’s Day, and on the 17th it will be Gray’s 17th birthday. A lot of firsts happening… and frankly… I HATE IT! I’m angry!
As previously reported by DailyMail.com, Julie shares in her daughter’s sentiments. ‘She has broken down. She is not doing well at all and she cannot fathom how she will spend years being locked up and feels that she let her family down,’ a confidante revealed.
‘Todd assured her that they would not go to jail and now Julie regrets what she did in the name of fame,’ they continued, adding that the ex-reality matriarch is losing all hope that the pair will manage to pull off a successful appeal.
As fans of the fallen family know, Todd and Julie were found guilty on federal charges of bank fraud and tax evasion and submitting false documents to banks to take out loans, reportedly worth more than $30 million, to finance their opulent lifestyle.
They were indicted in 2019. After a lengthy trial, they were convicted on ten counts of fraud in June 2022. They were convicted in June 2022 by a 10 person jury.
They received their sentences in November 2022 – and quickly watched their reality TV empire crumble as a result.
Their television show, Chrisley Knows Best, as well as the spinoff, Growing Up Chrisley, was yanked off the air by USA network. For many years, the show served as a platform to boast about their exuberant lifestyle.