Savannah Chrisley opens up about her teen brother Grayson’s ‘breakdown’ with parents in prison

Savannah Chrisley opens up about her teen brother Grayson’s ‘breakdown’ with parents in prison

As Todd and Julie Chrisley serve their combined 19-year prison sentences, their children are doing the best they can.

The “Chrisley Knows Best” couple reported to their designated prisons on Jan. 17, leaving daughter Savannah Chrisley in charge of her younger siblings — 16-year-old Grayson and 10-year-old Chloe. The 25-year-old shared some insight on their new way of living, sharing that Grayson had a “breakdown” over the family’s legal situation.

“Last week was the toughest week, I think, of my life,” Savannah said during the Jan. 31 episode of her “Unlocked with Savannah Chrisley” podcast, which she noted was recorded on Jan. 24. “And it’s been hard. It’s been hard to understand, process, and also help two kids process what’s going on in our life.”

Savannah explained that “never in a million years” did she think she would be talking about “one of my parents, let alone both of my parents, entering into federal prison.”

“There’s been a lot of tears shed, a lot of anger, a lot of screaming, a lot of just completely being broken to my core,” she continued. “But I’ve had to figure out how to completely rebuild.”

Chrisley Knows Best - Season 2
Savannah and Grayson in a “Chrisley Knows Best” episode.Richard Ducree / USA Network / NBCU via Getty Images

Savannah went on to explain how she’s handling being in charge of her siblings without her parents by her side.

“I’m definitely put in a really unique situation right now because I’m helping to guide Chloe and Grayson through this process, and I’m having to guide them through this process as I’m trying to guide myself through this process, which was very, very difficult,” she said. “I’m trying to stand strong and not break and be strong for them so that they feel comfortable enough to break down…Grayson is 16 years old, he is, there’s so much growth going on with him right now and it breaks my heart to know that my parents are missing out on that.”

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“Last night, Gray had a breakdown and he’s trying to process seeing my parents and the situation that they’re in and how that’s not the image that he wants to have of them,” she said, before touching on Chloe missing Julie.

She recalled driving one day with Chloe, who she said “had so much anger towards the situation.”

“And she just said, ‘Why? Why? They’re not bad people. They don’t belong there. Why?’ And I told her, I said, ‘You know what? I’m trying every single day to get mom and dad home. I’m working with the legal teams…I’m reaching out to any one that I can possibly reach out to to help me,’” Savannah said, telling her sister to be patient with her. “And she looked out the window, she looked back at me and she said, ‘Cool, that’s great! But guess what? They’re not home!’”

Savannah said she tried her “hardest to not break down and cry” and suggested to Chloe to pray. However, Chloe got upset and questioned the power of prayer and her faith. After the conversation with her siblings, she felt defeated.

“I don’t feel adequate enough for this job,” she said, getting emotional. “I am not my mother, which I wish I was because she is the kindest, most amazing person I have met. And I’ve always said, if I was half of her, I would be OK. And I guess in moments like these, I realize I’m more like my mom than I realize, because I’m getting through it.”

After her “crappy day,” she said an email from her father lifted her spirits.

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“I want you to give yourself some grace, fall in love with the real Savannah,” she read. “The one that I raised that radiates a room with her kindness and compassion, not the one the world wants to see. Remember, to gain the world, you lose your soul, and then what do you have?”

The Chrisley patriarch also addressed losing faith in God and prayer, writing, “Remember, at times, when we don’t see our prayers being answered, it’s because what we prayed for wasn’t enough. And what God wants us to have is better than what we’ve asked for, or what we’ve prayed for isn’t ready to be delivered because he’s training us up for something better that’s coming.”

Todd Chrisley also left a message for her siblings, “Please tell my sweet Chloe how much I love her. And always remind Grayson, that he’s my heart and soul.”

Todd Chrisley is serving 12 years at Federal Prison Camp Pensacola in Florida, while his wife is serving a seven year sentence at the Federal Medical Center Lexington in Kentucky.

The two were found guilty of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the United States by a federal jury in Atlanta in June. They were also accused of trying to defraud Georgia banks out of $30 million in personal loans. They were sentenced in November.

During the episode, Savannah said her father was working at the prison’s chapel and that her mom “is doing really well.”

“My mom, she’s made friends. She’s keeping busy. She’s going to church,” she shared. “She’s working. She’s playing some spades and when I tell you … she has run a dog on everyone.”

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Savannah also confirmed that her parents plan on once again filing appeals in “mid-February.”

CORRECTION (July 28, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT): An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the elder Chrisleys are serving a combined 12 year sentence. Todd Chrisley is slated to serve a 12 year sentence, while his wife is scheduled to serve a seven years and this story has been updated to reflect the correct combined total of 19 years.