Tuesday night (April 22), USA Network’s reality hit “Chrisley Knows Best” ends its first season, with a second one already announced. The daily lives of Atlanta businessman Todd Chrisley, his wife Julie, and their household of five children (plus a son-in-law and a couple of grandchildren) have caught the imagination of viewers.
A loving but controlling father with an outspoken personality and a distinctive personal style, Todd Chrisley has sparked lots of conversations among fans and critics.
Previously, Zap2it spoke to Chrisley
about his wife’s so-far-successful battle against breast cancer, his first marriage and current blended family, and the plans for the women’s-fashion section of his upcoming Atlanta department store.
But there’s more to know about Todd Chrisley. Take a look:
On the relationship between Julie and Lindsie, his daughter from his first marriage:
“Julie adopted Lindsie. Lindsie came to Julie when she was 18 years old and told her she was the only mother that she ever had known, and would she ever consider making it legal? And Julie said, ‘A piece of paper will never make me love you more than I l love you right now, but if it makes you feel better, than I will do it.’ So Julie adopted Lindsie when she was 18 years old.”
On when precocious 7-year-old Grayson becomes a little hard to handle:
“Here’s the thing — you’re watching 22 minutes of our life. What you don’t see on camera is, if Grayson has a fresh smile, we address that after filming. Grayson does not have that fresh smile with his parents. I don’t condone it for my adult children; I’m not going to condone it from a 7-year-old.
“I think Grayson gets caught up in the moment when we’re filming. There are all these adults around, and he hears us jabbing back and forth with each other — Grayson is an extremely bright and articulate child, and you have to remember that he has four older, much older, siblings, so he’s very versed in the real world.
“I don’t want to shield him from knowing the things that he knows. I don’t want to create a child that is not a thinking child. What I want to do is, I want to create a thinking, respectful adult. That’s what I want to raise.”
On why he doesn’t discipline Grayson on camera:
“That’s private. There are certain things in our life that you’re allowed to see, because we signed up for that gig. We signed up for the accolades; we signed up for the criticism. What we didn’t sign up for is to allow you or the masses to tell us how to raise our child or how we’re going to discipline our child.
“The other four, they’re beyond getting their butts smacked; Grayson is not. So if Grayson pushes that button, and he pushes it to a point where he needs redirection, I have no problem with redirecting him.”
On fans and critics who debate or comment on his sexuality:
“Here’s the thing about that. I’ve had people my entire life wanting me to be one thing or another. But, at the end of the day, so have you, so has any person in this world. Your mother wanted you to be something different at some point in your life than what you were doing at the moment. Your daddy wanted you to be something different; you had an aunt or uncle that wanted you to be something different. You go out in the work force, and you don’t fit the image of maybe what your employer wanted you to be.
“I gave up on that many, many years ago, when I was about 22 years old. I said, ‘To thine own self be true.’ I’m going to stand on the platform that I believe I’m here for, and that is to be my authentic self.
“I’ve been a single father. I’ve had to mop the floors; I’ve had to do the laundry; I’ve had to clean the toilet. I’ve had to bathe two children that are 14 months apart. I’ve had to learn to fix my daughter’s hair, because her mother was not there. I had to learn to press clothes. I had to learn to do everything that was traditionally considered to be female.
“So I embraced that because I love my children, and I wanted to give them the best that I could give them.
“As far as placing me in a box, place me in whatever box makes you feel most comfortable. I don’t care what your opinions are when it comes to my sexuality, because, A) that’s a private matter; and, B) I don’t have an issue with my sexuality. If I loved a man, I’d be with a man.
“I am with who my heart told me I was supposed to be with, and who I fell in love with. Those kind of insinuations or innuendos, they’re there because it makes other people who are saying that feel not so lonely about the place that they’re residing.
“I have men that proposition me on Twitter and Facebook; I have women do the same thing. Just as I don’t respond to the women, I don’t respond to the men. At the end of the day, I have values, and my core values and my belief system, they are what they are.
“I didn’t choose to fall in love with Julie. God led me to Julie, and that’s where I’m supposed to be. I bless and hold her hand as I walk through life.
“If it makes you feel better to think that I am like you, so that you can turn around and say, ‘Well, someone’s on television just like I am,’ then, OK, if that helps you get through the day, I’m glad to be there for you.”
The “Chrisley Knows Best” season finale airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday on USA.
UPDATE: After tonight’s season finale, at 10:30 p.m. ET, go here
to chat live online with Todd and the family.