It's the clash of the reality show titans — in one corner, it's the Todd and Julie Chrisley of USA's Chrisley Knows Best, who pleaded not guilty to tax evasion and a number of other crimes on Wednesday, and in the other, Josh Murray and Robby Hayes of The Bachelor franchise, who have been accused of of carrying on extramarital affairs with Lindsie Chrisley, Todd and Julie's estranged daughter. These two seemingly separate things are all wrapped up in the same big mess, full of denials, rumors, and an alleged sex tape.
To parse through it, it's important we start with the most pressing question:
Who are the Chrisleys?
Chrisley Knows Best first aired in 2014 and follows the family of Georgia real estate mogul, Todd Chrisley. The key players over the past seven season of the show include wife Julie, son Chase, daughter Savannah, mother Faye, and estranged daughter Lindsie who left after season 5, and recently remarried her ex-husband in 2018. Season 7 of the show wrapped up in July, and season 2 of spinoff Growing Up Chrisley, featuring Chase and Savannah, premiered earlier this month.
What did they (allegedly) do?
Todd and Julie were indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. They pleaded not guilty and, in an Instagram post, Todd said the charges came from a former employee seeking revenge after the family took him to court for "creating phony documents forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence."
"The allegations contained in the indictment are based on complete falsehoods," their lawyers, Bruce H. Morris and Stephen Friedberg, told Entertainment Tonight. "The Chrisleys are innocent of all charges."
At the same time, son Chase has been given a tax lien by the IRS, claiming he did not pay taxes from his income in 2014. This isn't entirely relevant to the drama that's about to go down, but it's worth mentioning.
Where do Josh Murray and Robby Hayes come into it?
Okay, so, basically, this is a bunch of he-said, she-said. TMZ says daughter Lindsie filed a police report back in July alleging that her father and brother, Chase, were extorting her with a sex tape that they threatened to release if she did not lie for them in court. In response, Todd gave this statement to ET:
"We have tried to keep Lindsie's extramarital relationships with Robby Hayes and Josh Murray private for her sake since August of 2016. Sadly, for reasons we can only guess at, she ran to the sheriff's office to accuse her brother of buying a sex tape of her and Robby, which was a complete lie, and now she's telling more lies about me. Although our hearts are broken, Lindsie is our daughter and we will always love her."
These names come absolutely out of nowhere. Josh Murray won Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette before going on to propose to Amanda Stanton on Bachelor In Paradise. Both relationships ended.
Robby Hayes was the runner-up on JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette, and also appeared on season 5 of Bachelor In Paradise.
As for Lindsie, her lawyer, Musa M. Ghanayem, gave ET this statement:
"Lindsie would like to thank all of her fans and supporters. The circumstances Todd and Julie find themselves in is quite unfortunate. It was reported that Lindsie was the source of the information that led to her father's arrest. That is untrue. She was not the source of this information. Lindsie has been a constant target of lies, harassment and threats from her family and as a result, has been distancing herself from the Chrisley family since 2017."
(Once again, not totally relevant, but important if true: Lindsie's alleged police report from July was thrown out because she went through the incorrect police station when filing it — she sent it through one in Tenn., not Ga.)
What have Murray and Hayes said?
While Hayes did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment, Murray gave a sassy statement to ET:
"I know Todd and his family are going through some tough times right now and I pray everything works out in their favor. They should probably focus on how not to be imprisoned for 30 years rather than spreading gossip to try and hurt their daughter. I truly believe they are good people and I wish them the best in however they choose to go about their actions."