Chloe Chrisley celebrated her 11th birthday on Friday, as her grandparents Todd and Julie Chrisley languished behind bars for fraud.
The couple officially adopted Chloe in 2017, having taken her in as her father Kyle Chrisley – Todd and Julie’s son – battled addiction.
However Todd and Julie were sentenced to prison last year, he for 12 years and she for seven, so Chloe wound up with her aunt Savannah Chrisley.
Now Chloe, who refers to her criminal grandparents as ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad,’ has been left ringing in her big day without them.
In an emotional Instagram post, Savannah revealed that Chloe marked the occasion by saying: ‘the only thing that would make this better is if mom and dad were here… I can’t wait until I’m 13 or 14 because maybe mom will at least be home.’
‘What a freaking dagger that was…’ Savannah reflected: ‘today is so bittersweet… but I have to remember that God has a bigger plan in store for us all!’
Julie and Todd began their prison stints this January after being convicted of tax fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States – but they have both had their sentences reduced since then.
Todd’s sentence was cut by two years, making his expected release date in early 2033. Julie’s was reduced by 14 months, resulting in a 2028 release date.
As Chloe awaited their return, she was showered with love by Savannah, who shared a rhapsodic Instagram post for the little girl’s birthday this Friday.
‘HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY to our sweet CoCo! I can’t believe that she is 11 years old! WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE!! Watching her grow has been the biggest blessing of my life… she has QUITE the personality!’ wrote the proud aunt.
‘I wish I had her humor. I wish I had her carefree spirit. I wish I had her heart. She is everything that I hope to be one day! There is not a day goes by to where she doesn’t reach me something new,’ Savannah continued.
‘Because of her… we are all better people! I love you sweet girl! KEEP SHINING! NEVER GIVE UP! And ALWAYS KNOW… I AM HERE!’
Kyle welcomed Chloe with one Angela Johnson in 2012, but the little girl soon wound up in her grandparents’ hands amid Kyle’s substance issues.
Todd and Julie got full custody of Chloe in 2016 – after Angela was arrested on suspicion of defrauding Medicaid and food stamps.
However last year, once Todd and Julie were convicted of fraud, it emerged that Angela was attempting to reestablish custody of Chloe.
‘It’s ironic that her biological mother would come forward now, when she has not been in her life since 2015,’ Todd retorted on his podcast Chrisley Confessions.
‘Angela Johnson surrendered her parental rights on March of 2017, and we never heard from her again,’ he alleged further.
Meanwhile, Savannah recently claimed her complaints about the way her parents are being treated behind bars has made life more difficult for them.
The reality star, 26, who is relying on her faith and a new love to help her cope, has been outspoken about the conditions at the federal prisons where Todd and Julie, 50, are serving their respective sentences for fraud.
‘It’s been really tough [for them] since I started speaking out about everything,’ the Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test competitor told Entertainment Tonight.
‘That’s been the toughest part. More so for Dad. There’s been a lot of retaliation, so we have to worry [about him].’
The Unlocked with Savannah podcaster has alleged the guards at the Pensacola, Florida prison where Todd is being house have targeted the former Chrisley Knows Best star.
‘Right now they’re trying to move him from the facility he’s at now, because of the latest things that I’ve posted on Instagram. And that’s the tough part – the moment you start speaking out, you have to pay for it,’ she asserted.
The Nashville based activist also claims the guards are scheming to steal money from Todd’s commissary account and preventing him from speaking with his attorney.
‘Which is a huge thing because… it’s a non-recorded phone call to where you can speak about the things that are happening to you to your lawyer, [and] they’re not letting him do that,’ she alleged.
Since coming forward with her charges of mistreatment, Savannah has shared a ‘whistleblower’ letter she received about unsafe working conditions at the facility where her father is being held.
On Instagram Friday, Savannah shared an excerpt from Federal Bureau of Prisons director Collette S. Peters from a September document which read, ‘We are working to create and foster a culture where every employee and person in our custody knows that they can come forward without fear of retaliation. If retaliation does occur, we hold those individuals accountable as well.’
The devoted daughter tagged a number of lawmakers on the post.
Savannah also says the living conditions for Julie are pretty dire at the federal prison camp in Kentucky where she is serving her time, although she hasn’t been targeted as much as Todd reportedly has been.
‘Some of the male guards, they definitely speak down on the women [in jail]. They make them feel like garbage.’ she told the outlet.
Both Chrisleys have appealed their convictions, but until then, they will continue to speak out.
‘He and I have had the discussion [and] his exact words were, “If I have to be uncomfortable in order to hopefully implement and force change, then I’m willing to do it,”‘ Savannah said.