Savannah Chrisley Struggled to Leave Family for ‘Special Forces’ After Her Parents’ Prison Sentences

Savannah Chrisley didn’t realize how painful it would be to leave her family when she agreed to join the cast of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test — especially amid her parents’ prison sentences. 

“I just missed the kids so much. I missed my parents [Todd and Julie Chrisley] because I spoke to them every single day and there had not been a single weekend that had gone by without me going and visiting them [in prison],” Savannah, 26, exclusively told Us Weekly about her decision to exit the Fox reality series early. “And I think that was the toughest part. I was like, ‘All right, I showed up, I did what I could and life is so short. Do I really want to spend another five days or however long in this environment or am I ready to get home?’ I wanted to be with the kids, I wanted to see my parents.” 

Despite starting out as a strong season 2 contender, Savannah ultimately made the decision to leave Special Forces — which sees celebrities try and survive the demanding training exercises of an elite team of ex-Special Forces operatives — during the Monday, October 9, episode. While prepared for the physical demands, Savannah explained that she struggled to get herself in the right headspace because she had a family depending on her back home. 

“I don’t think I prepared mentally and emotionally for it because I didn’t think I would feel the things that I felt,” she told Us. “Because I had already been there a week before the show started filming, I had already been away from the kids [for a while] and this was I think four or five, six months after [my] mom and dad left.” 

Chrisley Family Drama Through the Years: From Todd’s Feuds With His Kids to Lindsie’s Alleged Affairs

Savannah revealed in November 2022 that she gained custody of brother Grayson, 17, and half-brother Kyle Chrisley’s daughter, Chloe, 10, amid her parents’ legal woes. Todd, 54, and Julie, 50, were charged with several counts of bank and wire fraud and tax evasion in 2019 before being sentenced to 12 and seven years in prison, respectively, in June 2022. The pair reported for their sentences, which they are currently serving at separate prisons, in December 2022.

For Savannah, it was hard to grapple with filming Special Forces — which shoots in New Zealand and maintains a strict “no contact” rule — knowing Grayson and Chloe have already experienced “so much loss.”  Her absence was especially hard on her niece, who was worried Savannah wouldn’t ever return. 

“She was like, ‘You’re coming back?’ And I had to keep telling her, ‘Yes, I’m coming back. I’m coming back,’” she recalled. “Because all she’s known is people not coming back from such a young age. So that was really challenging for me.” 

Savannah told Us that after battling it out for three episodes, she realized she had given it her all and it was time to throw in the towel. “I was like, ‘Alright, I showed up, I tried it out. I did as best I could and it’s OK to leave,’” she said. “I just mentally was not in it and I didn’t want to get in a super down and depressed mindset.” 

‘Chrisley Knows Best’: A Comprehensive Guide to the Chrisley Family

Noting that her time on the show taught her “It’s OK to fail sometimes,” Savannah shared she also has learned to give herself — and the people around her — a lot more “grace.” 

“I’m constantly doing for other people and it’s OK to let someone do for me for once,” she told Us. “It just taught me to not only have grace for myself but [for] other people because we never know what people are going through. Even just [my] mom and dad both being in federal prison, I never thought about that. It never impacted my life and I think now it’s taught me just because something doesn’t impact you doesn’t mean it’s not happening.” 

Savannah shared that “a lot of good lessons” have come from her parent’s prison sentences, ones that have helped her become a “better” and “softer” person. 

“I’ve been able to figure out how to navigate my emotions better and just be a better person all around. So I’m like, ‘You know what? Maybe that was what needed to come from this,’” she said. 

Savannah Chrisley Struggled to Leave Family for Special Forces

Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images for E3 Chophouse Nashville

Participating in Special Forces also helped the Chrisley Knows Best alum recognize that there are still “a lot of emotions” she has to process when it comes to “my situation with mom and dad leaving” and the “responsibilities” subsequently left in her hands. 

“I kind of had just been, like, the Energizer Bunny. Just keep going, keep going, keep going,” she explained. “When in reality there were still emotions I needed to process. … So I was ready to get home to the kids, to talk to my parents. That was the main thing.” 

Since her exit from Special Forces, Savannah — who revealed on Monday’s episode that she first joined the show because her parents are avid viewers — told Us she’s been able to catch up with both Todd and Julie, sharing that it’s been a great way to bond with her mom. 

Savannah Chrisley’s Dating History: Inside the ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ Alum’s Love Life

“My mom has been loving watching it, and it just gives us a way to connect even though we’re not together. It doesn’t mean we can’t connect over everything we’re doing in our lives, [but] she was just so happy and so proud of me,” she said. Todd, for his part, has yet to see the show — but it’s only because he’s waiting until they can do so together. 

“Everyone deals with their emotions differently, but they both were like, ‘I am so proud of you. If anyone can do it, you can,’” she recalled. “They’ve always been my biggest supporters. To this day, they still are.” 

Special Forces airs on Fox Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. 

By info

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *