After serving eight years in prison for the murder of her mother, the Munchausen by proxy survivor exclusively opens to In Touch about her new life.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard once said she got her first taste of freedom in, ironically, in prison. After years of abuse, the Louisiana native pleaded guilty for her involvement in the 2015 stabbing death of her mother, Dee Dee — who had convinced family, friends and even medical professionals that Gypsy was suffering from various ailments, including leukemia, muscular dystrophy, hearing and vision impairment, seizures and asthma — and spent eight-and-a-half years at Missouri’s Chillicothe Correctional Center. (Her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, is serving his life in prison for the murder.)
But upon her release on December 28, 2023, she finally got to experience what it’s like to truly be free, sharing her first intimate moments with her true love, husband Ryan Anderson (they wed when she was still behind bars in 2022), trying new things, and learning more about the outside world. “Obviously, I’ve been spending time with my husband, his family, my dad’s side of the family,” the bubbly 32-year-old exclusively gushed to In Touch during an interview to discuss her Lifetime docuseries, The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. “I tried zucchini and ate fried fish for the first time. And I just came back from New York. It was such an amazing trip!” Here, Gypsy Rose opens up about her harrowing childhood, what she learned from prison, and her plans to become a mother.
What have you been up to?
GRB: Just having a lot of quality time with family and friends, learning how to cook with my mother-in-law. Being a good wife. Making amends with those who were really hurt by not only the crime, but also by learning that the people they knew — my mom and I — were not real. It was a fraud. I want to reinvent myself, show them who I am now and start a new life.
Anything you haven’t been able to do?
GRB: Travel. I have very strict travel restrictions. Thankfully, my parole officer let me go to New York, but that will be one [trip] out of only a handful for this year. When I’m off parole, I want to go to Europe — Rome and Switzerland. I want to have no restrictions. Complete freedom.
How do you take care of your mental health?
GRB: If I feel overwhelmed, I listen to music. I close myself off in a room, put on my headphones, and journal for a little bit or just lay back in my bed and decompress while listening to any song that I feel is relatable. And also, being married, I can lean on Ryan, for a lot of things.
It must have been hard to revisit the past in the docuseries. Why did you participate?
GRB: I wanted to put out the truth. So much of what has already been put out there was by people who just didn’t know the ins and outs of my case, or my life. I can finally be like, “OK, I’m ready. I’m emotionally stable. I don’t want to keep being haunted by the past.” This series is me letting go of my past. People need to see me as a person, not a character from a TV show.
There have been a few dramatized accounts, like Hulu’s The Act. What did they get wrong?
GRB: How they portrayed my mom. They’re portraying her as mean all the time. And that’s not how she was. She was very charming, very relatable. Her personality was bubbly and friendly to the outside world.
Now, people think of her as evil, but you’ve said she wasn’t a monster — she just needed mental health care. And yet no one intervened, not even Child Protective Services.
GRB: They did come to my house. And basically they were asking me the wrong questions. They were checking for bruises. And at that point, my mom never hit. There was no follow-up report. They came the one time and then closed the file. She became increasingly paranoid after that.
No one else said anything either.
GRB: Nobody wants to rock the boat, you know? For those doctors, I think it has to do with money, honestly. And that’s just my opinion. They were making money off of me.
What about your dad and his family?
GRB: My mother isolated me from them at a pretty young age. I was about 6 when we moved away from our hometown. I do not hold a grudge against anyone. My mother was good at manipulation and lies. There’s no blame to be put on anybody else.
You’ve said killing Dee Dee was the “only way out.” How did you keep the faith during the dark days after your arrest?
GRB: I’ve always been fairly optimistic. The only time that I was ever not optimistic was while I was in county jail. I lost faith at one point, and it was really grim. But as soon as I knew I was going to be getting out of prison fairly young, I started having faith again that it was going to be OK. I’m a glass-half-full type of person.
What can you tell us about prison?
GRB: While you’re in jail, it’s small cells. All you do is sleep and eat. But prison is a world within a world. There are jobs, education … there are inmates serving life without parole who have to [go on with] their lives. They can’t just sleep all the time. It’s funny, there were times that I would be busy. Ryan would want me to call him, and I’m like, “Well, I’ve got this going on.” The world doesn’t stop. It just becomes different.
What’s the most challenging part about being in the spotlight now?
GRB: It’s overwhelming. I feel like a baby bird on the internet. I’m very new to social media, so when I comment or like someone’s post, I have to realize it will be seen by millions of people. I have this huge platform, which I can use for good. It’s kind of like a superpower. On the downside, there are people making fake accounts in my name scamming people…there’s a rumor that I’m pregnant, which is not true at all.
But Ryan did say you bought baby clothes on a recent shopping trip …
GRB: It was a cute little outfit! I had to get the outfit for just in case later down the road.
Have famous people contacted you?
GRB: Elizabeth Smart actually reached out. I sent her a message back telling her that I knew of her story. She’s an inspirational woman, and I definitely think she’s a great role model for me to follow. She took a bad situation and made a wonderful person out of herself, in spite of it.
Do you want to get into advocacy?
GRB: I definitely want to share what I have gained in wisdom and guidance for anyone who feels like they are in a hopeless, helpless place. This could happen to anyone. If you see a child in a situation where something seems off, say something. I’ve already used the power of my voice to share my story. Let’s see if I can share other people’s stories and give them a voice.
Do you feel like your best self now?
GRB: I am reinventing myself into something that my family could be proud of, my husband can be proud of. I don’t think I’m quite there yet. But I’m liking this new version of myself. Let’s see what I can do!
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.