Savannah Chrisley, who took over guardianship of her 17-year-old brother, Grayson, and 10-year-old niece, Chloe, following their parents’ imprisonment, is reflecting on the challenges of her “difficult” new role.
The 26-year-old woman, who gained custody of her brother Grayson, 17, and niece Chloe, 10, amidst her parents Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley’s jail sentences, is contemplating her new role, including the guilt she no longer faces every step of the way.
As Savannah explained, appearing on the show was a family-driven decision. “I think the important thing is this is the last show that I watched with my parents before they left,” she said in an exclusive clip from the upcoming October 9 episode. “My mom watched it. She said, ‘You can do this.’”
However, the reality star’s motivation behind joining the series doesn’t make her absence from her younger siblings any easier. “I have custody of my 10-year-old sister and 17-year-old brother,” Savannah continued, noting that her niece was adopted by her parents in 2017. “It’s hard, and I missed my first Father’s Day. I wasn’t there, and that sucks, not having contact while I’m gone.”
As later explained to her peers Jack Osbourne and Bode Miller, this past year has been a challenging one for her family. “Respectfully, you don’t know what it’s like having both your parents in federal prison and having to take custody of a 10-year-old and a 17-year-old, that’s the issue,” she said. “I feel guilty for not being there. I think for the first time in my life, I actually love two people more than I love myself.”
Earlier this year, Savannah shared that she was facing the “anger part of grief” after Todd and Julie, sentenced for bank fraud and tax evasion, were each given prison terms of seven and 12 years. The couple, whose sentences have been reduced, have pleaded not guilty to all charges and have vowed to appeal.
For her part, Savannah is currently focused on doing “whatever it takes” for Grayson and Chloe as their guardian.
“I’m trying to be a good adult in their life,” she said in a May podcast episode, “but it’s very hard to be 25 years old and have two kids and try to figure out what’s best for them because usually, you get to grow from one to two to three to four, like, you’ll grow over centuries. And now, I’m just kind of thrown into it. And my life, it’s really on hold.”
Yet, Savannah has also found the silver lining in helping raise her siblings.
“Being a bonus parent is HARD,” she wrote in her third Instagram post in July, “no one can match their parents. But these kids have shown me so much love, patience, grace, understanding, and gratitude! Helping raise these two kids is the toughest yet most rewarding job I’ve ever had.”
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