Though the dust is now mostly settled from the recent fracas involving Savannah Chrisley being removed from a Southwest Airlines flight — with the company offering a different side of the story than her accounts — the reality star discussed the situation in full to kick off the latest installment of her podcast. Things only got more emotional and closer to the heart from there, though, as producer Erin Dugan stepped in to lead the episode’s conversation, which obviously addressed how things are currently going for the imprisoned Todd and Julie Chrisley. The daughter’s latest visit to see her mom had her walking away with dozens of journal-esque letters, as well as a renewed sense of displeasure over her parents being unable to communicate with one another.
The Unlocked conversation between Dugan and Chrisley was enough that they split it into two episodes, with “A FULL Chrisley Life Update Pt. 1” tapping into the latter’s process of splitting up weekends between the seven-hour drive to see her dad, and the far shorter trip to visit her mom. When the producer addressed the idea that Julie Chrisley is likely all too aware of the sacrifices her daughter is making during all this, Savannah Chrisley brought up the giant batch of letters her mom gave her, saying that sympathetic point of view was a frequent topic. Another sticking point? The complete lack of communication with her hubby. Here’s how the Unlocked host put it:
She actually just sent me home with 30 or 40 days worth of letters. . . . It was just like her daily diary basically. I didn’t bring them. Because I’ll eventually put them out, read them at some point, to give people updates on kind of how they were doing and what was going through their minds. But that’s kind of one of the constant themes in all of her letters: ‘I can’t believe Savannah’s having to do this. I can’t believe her life’s having to be put on hold.’ It’s that, and then I don’t think there’s a single letter that goes by that she does not say how much she misses my dad. Because they don’t get to talk.
I can only imagine how stressful and heartbreaking it would be to read the thoughts of a parent in prison going without daily family communication for the first time in their life. It sounds like Julie Chrisley did intentionally limit the subject matter within her letters and phone calls, at least in terms of speaking about the prison experience specifically, as not to cause any friction with authorities reviewing those letters and phone calls. (Savannah Chrisley herself earned a response from the Federal Bureau of Prisons after making unfounded negative claims.)
Chrisley went on to bring up how awful she thinks it is that her jailed parents don’t have the freedom to share a few words with each other at any point. In her words:
We’re like three or four months in almost, and being together almost 30 years now and not going a day without speaking, to now going on four months is a lot. People don’t talk about that, but that’s the tough part. Our system’s already breaking people, and now on top of it, you’re just prohibiting communication between two people who have been married for almost 30 years. What are you doing to families?
As her followers are well aware, Savannah Chrisley has largely blamed the government at large for her parents’ convictions and guilty verdicts, while still maintaining enough faith in the legal system to believe their appeals process will prove successful. And she’s certainly no fan of the prison system’s approach (or lack there of) to keeping families intact.
All that said, Chrisley did say that for as hard as it is to go through these things and to have read through her mom’s letters, she still hasn’t stopped being grateful for the judge that gave them all extra time together before they formally reported to prison in January amidst retrial efforts. As she put it:
It’s all just a lot. Her letters, like I said, it was a lot to read. It was tough to see the accounts of her day and just things that she’s scared of or nervous about, or just all the thoughts that go through her mind. And not having my dad there with her, that’s the biggest thing, and so it’s tough. But like I said, the judge that was over our case, I will forever be grateful for the two months that she gave us, because she could have sent them right then, but she allowed them to self-report.
Barring any appeals and news of that nature, this will be the status quo for the Chrisley family for nearly seven more years while Julie Chrisley remains jailed. Savannah teased previously that there may be a new family-centric TV show in the works that would be intended to skew more to the reality side of things, as opposed to the way USA's Chrisley Knows Best grew increasingly more silly and comedic.
New episodes of Unlocked drop Tuesdays everywhere you listen to podcasts.