There are few documentaries and stories that have created as much intrigue as HBO’s Mommy Dead and Dearest, which tells the story of Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter, Gypsy.
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Gypsy’s story starts out sad — she battled leukemia as a child, suffered from muscular dystrophy, and couldn’t get around without a wheelchair or eat without a feeding tube — and ends up being even more tragic when it’s revealed that the only thing she truly suffered from was an emotional and abusive relationship with her mother — as it’s revealed that her mom, Dee Dee, made up all the illnesses.
Eventually, Gypsy plots a way to break free of her mother’s abusive and controlling hold on her: She and her boyfriend (whom she met on a Christian dating site) killed Dee Dee.
Check out everything you need to know about Dee Dee, Gypsy, and the chilling documentary.
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The film — which was directed by Erin Lee Carr — will debut tonight on HBO at 10 p.m. EST.
Gypsy and her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, were both charged with first-degree murder, but Gypsy has always maintained that she was acting in self defense, as death was the only way to escape the disastrous life her mother created for her. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is currently serving a 10-year sentence.
(Photo Credit: HBO)
Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, and her mother ended things prior to Gypsy’s birth; while he was around early in her life, they began to grow apart because he was under the impression that he wasn’t equipped with the necessary things to help care for Gypsy when she visited.
“Dee Dee was telling me that Gypsy had sleep apnea and needed a breathing machine,” Rod tells In Touch. “It escalated into problems with her digestive system. After that [Dee Dee said] Gypsy couldn’t walk anymore and had muscular dystrophy.”
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It’s believed that Dee Dee suffered from an extreme case of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, which is a term to describe when a caregiver — often a parent or guardian — lies or exergerates about the health of a person in their care — typically a child — in order to get attention or sympathy from others.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Gypsy revealed she was generally forgiving of her mother.
“I mean, honestly, it’s made me a stronger person, because I truly believe that everything happens for a reason,” she mused. “This time [in prison] is good for me. I’ve been raised to do what my mother taught me to do. And those things aren’t very good. She taught me to lie, and I don’t want to lie. I want to be a good, honest person.”
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