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Two more reality stars are going to prison—and their show’s been cancelled

Two more reality stars are going to prison—and their show’s been cancelled
Todd and Julie Chrisley, photographed for season 4 of Chrisley Knows Best.(Photo by Tommy Garcia/USA Network)

The list of reality TV stars who’ve gone from television to prison is getting longer, now that two cable reality stars are going to prison for more than a decade each.

They’ll join a significant roster of major reality TV stars and smaller players who’ve gone to prison. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

Meanwhile, American Ninja Warrior star Drew Drechsel is currently facing life in prison, and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah is facing 50 years in prison.

Todd and Julie Chrisley will soon know prison

Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley, stars of Chrisley Knows Best
Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley, stars of Chrisley Knows Best (Photos by Tommy Garcia/USA Network)

Today, Chrisley Knows Best stars Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley were each sentenced today, with Todd getting the longer sentence: more than a decade of incarceration.

They were convicted of tax evasion and fraud earlier this year by a jury in Atlanta.

Atlanta’s ABC affiliate, WSB TV, reported Monday that the “federal judge sentenced Todd Chrisley to 12 years in prison plus 16 months probation. His wife, Julie, was sentenced to 7 years in prison, plus 16 months probation.”

In a press release, IRS Special Agent in Charge in Atlanta, James E. Dorsey, said:

“The Chrisleys defrauded financial institutions and the Federal Government through tax evasion and other fraudulent means in an effort to minimize their tax liability, but project an image of wealth. This sentencing serves notice that no matter a person’s celebrity status, there are severe consequences for defrauding the American tax system.”

According to an earlier WSB report, Chrisley’s attorney asked for “a combined sentence of limited incarceration, supervised release and restitution,” in part because Todd’s mother and brother are both being treated for cancer now.”

But the prosecutors’ 71-page sentencing memo asked for between 17 and 22 years for Todd, and 10 to 13 years for Julie, so they received more lenient sentences. The memo said:

“The seriousness of their actions is further underscored by the fact that neither defendant has expressed remorse for their crimes, instead continuing to blame others for their own criminal conduct. Given the seriousness of the Chrisleys’ crimes, a lengthy period of incarceration is warranted.”

Chrisley Knows Best has been cancelled

Growing Up Chrisley, Todd, Chase, Savannah
Todd Chrisley (left) on his kids’ spin-off, Growing Up Chrisley. Chase Chrisley and Savannah Chrisley (right) are moving to L.A. to get their own show. (Photo by Cythina Hicks/USA Network)

Their show has been on USA Network since March of 2014, which means Todd will spend more time in prison than he’s spent getting famous on TV.

USA Network last aired episodes of season nine in August; season 10 had been ordered but was not filmed.

Deadline reports that both Chrisley Knows Best and Chase and Savannah’s spin-off Growing Up Chrisley have been cancelled, and so has E!’s Love Limo, which Todd was going to host.

Todd: ‘children should have accountability’

Todd Chrisley, photographed for season 4 of Chrisley Knows Best
Todd Chrisley, photographed for season 4 of Chrisley Knows Best.(Photo by Tommy Garcia/USA Network)

In 2014, I interviewed the Chrisley family, and Todd told me why they decided to expose their lives to the world on TV:

“We certainly did it for the branding opportunities, and the fact that we felt like we could contribute something to that landscape. We contribute a certain level of wholesomeness to that field—that we want the world to see that children should have accountability for their actions, and they should respect their parents, and that the parents should give the child a reason to respect them.”

I wonder if he’s thrilled that the whole world is now seeing that adults should have accountability for their actions, too.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

AND....Jerry Harris, from Netflix's Cheer. I think his sentence is 12 years.

Andy Dehnart

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Oh, yes! I wrote non-exhaustive because I knew I'd forget many, and clearly even the most-recent!