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Savannah Chrisley says she’s 'grieving the loss of parents still alive'

The 25-year-old is caring for her younger brother and niece as her parents, Julie and Todd Chrisley, face prison time.
/ Source: TODAY

Before her parents, Todd and Julie Chrisley, were sentenced to prison on fraud and tax evasion charges on Nov. 21, Savannah Chrisley said she was ready to take custody of her younger brother and niece.

“I don’t know what my family’s fate is,” an emotional Chrisley, 25, said on her “Unlocked” podcast, recorded before her parents’ sentencing.

“I know that the short-term is going to be really painful and really difficult and I may come home without both of my parents,” she said.

Hollywood Game Night - Season 6
Savannah Chrisley, middle, with mom Julie, left, and father, Todd, right.Vivian Zink / NBC

Chrisley said she expected to have to take care of her brother Grayson, 16, who is her parents’ youngest child, as well as her niece Chloe, 10. Chloe is daughter of Todd’s son, Kyle, whom he had with ex-wife Theresa Terry.

As TODAY previously reported, Todd and Julie have been raising their granddaughter due to Kyle’s issues with substance abuse, which he confirmed on an episode of the podcast “Chrisley Confessions.”

Chrisley contemplated celebrating the Thanksgiving holidays with her younger siblings, but without her parents.

“I come home Tuesday and I have custody of a 16-year-old and a 10-year-old, and we spend our first Thanksgiving not as a family. I’ve never been away from my family for holidays,” she said.

Todd and Julie Chrisley, known to audiences for their USA reality series, “Chrisley Knows Best,” were sentenced on Nov. 22 after they were convicted in June on eight counts of financial fraud and two counts of tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the United States, per the U.S. attorney’s office in Georgia’s northern district, after initially pleading not guilty. Julie Chrisley was convicted on an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

They will not need to begin the sentence until Jan. 15, 2023. 

The USA network is owned by NBCUniversal, TODAY’s parent company.

They had been accused of trying to defraud community banks in Atlanta out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans, while also failing to pay taxes, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a press release, and were found guilty.

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Julie and Todd with granddaughter Chloe in a scene from "Chrisley Knows Best."NBC via Getty Images

Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years, and Julie Chrisley was sentenced to seven, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The couple, which has five children, plans to appeal the decision.

The Chrisleys’ accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also sentenced to three years in prison and three years of probation after being found guilty of tax-related violations, per the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Chrisley spoke about her parents' physical absence from her life with emotion in her voice.

“There’s never been a time in my life to where I haven’t felt the safety of my parents,” she said.

“There’s never been a time that I’ve had to wonder, ‘Is Dad coming home tonight? Where is he? Why isn’t he answering? Is Mom going to be there to take me to the doctor? Is she going to celebrate the holidays? Is she going to cook dinner?’ I’ve never had to worry about where my parents were.”

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From left to right: Faye Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Chloe Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley.Getty Images

Chrisley also said she is devastated knowing her younger siblings may not share that sense of security.

“I think there’s a level of guilt, too, for myself, of knowing that Chloe and Grayson are not going to have that same feeling of, ‘Are Mom and Dad going to be home tonight?’” she said. “And I think that’s the hardest part, is me trying to navigate how you teach two younger children who aren’t fully developed that yet and how to get them to understand the circumstances. That’s a really, really difficult thing.”

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Julie and Todd Chrisley in an episode of their reality show, "Chrisley Knows Best."USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Chrisley said that her father has continued to be by her during this ordeal, noting how he comforted her when she was crying in bed.

“It doesn’t matter how old you get, you still want your mom and dad for things,” she said.

Chrisley said there’s one way to explain how she’s feeling about what’s happening with her parents.

“The best way I can describe it is grieving the loss of parents who are still alive, which is a really weird thought process and feeling,” she said.