After Gypsy Rose Blanchard plead guilty to murdering her mom in 2015, she took a plea deal and was given a 10-year prison sentence — but not everyone thinks it’s fair. Even Gypsy herself told Dr. Phil in November 2017 that she thinks it’s a little “harsh,” and people who’ve watched The Act seem to all be in agreement online. But in real life, not everyone who knows the now-27-year-old is inclined to agree. Gypsy’s real-life neighbor, Aleah Woodmansee, who befriended Gypsy when she first moved to Missouri (and who you might recognize as Lacey in the show), is “torn” about whether or not she thinks that her friend got a raw deal. In Touch talked to Aleah, and she admitted that she’s just not sure how to feel.

“I have gotten so many messages with people’s opinions on her sentencing. Personally — I’m torn,” she told In Touch. “It’s so easy to say that she did or didn’t deserve her sentence — but there are so many things to consider. Usually, I just say that I hope that she gets the help she needs to be able to live the fullest, most normal life as possible in the most healthy way.” When it comes down to it, Aleah simply wants what’s best for Gypsy. And working her way through the system may be what’s in her best interest.

“Everyone is so eager to voice their opinions on this,” Aleah continued. “All of us appreciate the support, but at the same time we don’t know what she needs or how deep the damage that has been done to her truly is.”

Luckily, it sounds like Gypsy hasn’t had the worst time in prison. While she’s publicly expressing that she’s not sure she’s getting the help that she needs to reckon with her abusive upbringing, her cousin Bobby Pitre told In Touch in 2017 that she seems to be thriving. “She told me she feels like she’s in college because she has friends, she’s getting an education and finally has her own space,” Bobby told In Touch. “She has freedom in there.”

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