If you're a true crime junkie about to dive into Hulu's The Act, there's plenty you'll need to know about the story it's based on. The series follows Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, whose relationship slowly devolved into murder. But in 2019, Gypsy Rose is in a much different place than she was when the events of the show begin.
Gypsy is currently serving a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Dee Dee's 2015 stabbing death. According to the Springfield News-Leader, that's the minimum sentence required for her charges, and Gypsy will be eligible for parole just before she turns 33. Gypsy's defense was that she enacted the murder plot because her mother had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder "in which a parent or other caretaker exaggerates, fabricates, or induces illness in another person for attention and sympathy," according to Rolling Stone. As Gypsy told ABC News, she was raised to believe she suffered from multiple illnesses and disabilities, and was made to use a wheelchair despite being able to walk, as well as a feeding tube for nutrition and medicine.
"It was not because I hated her. It was because I wanted to escape her," Gypsy told the outlet of why she decided to go through with the plan. Her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, carried out the attack while Gypsy waited in the bathroom of the Missouri home she and Dee Dee shared. Godejohn was was convicted last November for his role in the crime and sentenced to life in prison in February.
As for Gypsy's life now? It's been a while since she's done a full interview, but last year she gave a few comments to ABC News' 20/20. The outlet reported that Gypsy "couldn't be happier" and was working on earning her GED. And Kristy Blanchard, Gypsy's stepmother, told the Springfield News-Leader in February 2018 that Gypsy was "thriving" in prison.
"There has been no long-term side effects from all the medication her mom had given her," Kristy said. "She has a clean bill of health, thank God — and I really only think what it has done was stunt her growth."
Kristy also told the newspaper that though Gypsy and her family hope she'll be released before 10 full years are served, they're realistic about the possibility that that won't happen. "She's really fine with that. She's just glad she's not under her mother's care. I mean, even though she went from one prison to another," Kristy continued. "At least where she's at now, she can say what wants to say, can eat what she wants to eat, she can walk, there's nobody telling her 'you can't say that,' stuff like that."
However, Gypsy has said she still thinks of her mother and has regrets about what happened. "All I could hope is that wherever she is, that she still loves me in some small way," Gypsy told ABC News. "And I want her to know that I am sorry. I am so sorry."
It's unclear if Gypsy will be able to see The Act when it starts airing her story, but she's attempting to move on from the life she lived before, even if the public isn't ready to let it go just yet.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.