real life

Gypsy Rose Blanchard got a letter while she was in prison. She married the man who sent it.

In 2015, Gypsy Rose Blanchard famously conspired with her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to kill her mother Dee Dee, following a lifetime of medical abuse.

The now-32-year-old was released from prison on December 28, 2023 after spending eight years behind bars for the crime, and she left her incarceration a married woman. But it wasn't Godejohn who put a ring on her finger. 

It was a man named Ryan Anderson, who Gypsy met and fell in love with while she was behind bars. 

Watch: Gypsy Rose speaks exclusively to Dr Phil. Post continues after video. 


Video via Dr Phil.

In 2020, Ryan – a primary school teacher who was working at a hospital – first made contact with Gypsy via a letter he sent after watching the documentary about her life.

After a colleague told Ryan she wanted to write a letter to the star of Tiger King, Joe Exotic, Ryan decided on a whim to write to her.

"I said, 'I'll tell you what, if you write him, I'll write Gypsy Rose Blanchard.' And I had watched her documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, like three years before that," he told PEOPLE

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"And then The Act [a dramatised series detailing the events of Gypsy's life] had came out and I've never watched The Act, but I remember my friends talking about The Act and I was like, 'I'll watch the documentary again.' So it was kind of fresh on my mind."

He didn't expect to hear back from her but within a few weeks, Gypsy made contact, and the pair began a friendly email exchange. Gypsy liked that Ryan was from Louisiana, telling Entertainment News following her release that his being from the area made her believe they'd have common interests.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Ryan Anderson. Image: Instagram @ryan_s_anderson_.Due to COVID restrictions, the pair couldn't meet in person until July 2021, but Gypsy credited Ryan for helping her through, calling him her "emotional backboard".

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"We met in 2020 when the pandemic was really, really strong, and I had a lot of emotional ups and downs because of COVID," she told PEOPLE.

"Unfortunately, it put the prison in a position where it restricted our freedom even more ... So Ryan has seen me through some really good times, some really hard times."

While Gypsy said she could "be a handful", the pair's relationship relationship grew stronger, despite the unusual circumstances upon which it was built.

"I would say that he is probably the most compassionate soul that I've ever met, and the most patient," she shared. "God knows, he's so patient with me because I could be a little bit of a lot to handle. I could be a handful, an emotional handful."

Because of her imprisonment and the distance, the couple spent most of their time getting to know each other over the phone – and over time, Gypsy said, Ryan could tell how she was feeling just by the sound of her voice.

"We've been able to build this emotional bond that within two seconds of talking on the phone, he knows my emotions. And he'll be like, 'Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?' So I'm thankful that I have a man that is open enough with his own emotions so I could let my emotions flow."

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Two years after Ryan sent his first letter to Gypsy, whilst she was still in jail, the pair married. On July 21, 2022, in a small ceremony, without any guests, the pair said 'I do'. Ryan gifted Gypsy his mother's wedding ring for their nuptials.

But while the ceremony went off without a hitch, Gypsy had her reservations about marriage.

"Everybody would tell her, you need to do this, you need to do that," Ryan recalled. "'Oh, don't get married because you're going to go around and play the field and go out and experience life.' And so that weighed heavy on her, but at the same time, she knew she wanted a family. She knew she wanted a husband and [to] eventually have kids."

The idea of marriage concerned their family too, particularly Gypsy's stepmother Kristy, who was opposed to her typing the knot in prison. 

"Kristy, her stepmom, was pushing her really hard – even two days before our wedding – was really pushing her not to get married," Ryan said. "And I remember talking with Gypsy and then I was like, 'Do you want to get married?' And she was like, 'I do.' And then I was like, 'Well, I do too.' And then so we just kind of were like, 'You know what? We're going to do what we want to do.'"

Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Ryan Anderson. Image: Instagram @gypsyrose_a_blanchard.

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But Ryan did ask for permission – specifically from Gypsy's father, Rod Blanchard, whose approval he wanted before proceeding. 

"I wanted to make sure he understood that I was with Gypsy for the right reasons," he said. "I had already met Kristy once and she liked me but still didn't want Gypsy to get married. But after I met her dad, the only person that Gypsy said to me, 'If my dad tells me he doesn't want me to get married, I will not get married.' 

"That was the only person's approval we had to get," he added. "And I got her dad's approval and it was, 'Let's get married.' It was just one of those things. We got married and, now married, she can come home to me and we can start her life."

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Gypsy and Ryan plan to have a bigger celebration, with a tiered cake, elaborate dress and beautiful venue.

"We do plan on having a reception/redo wedding with all of our family and our friends and the dress and the cake and everything because we deserve that. I deserve that. He deserves that," she told PEOPLE.

"Our prison wedding was just something to where we can make our vows to each other," Gypsy said. "It was something that meant something to us. And I think the party is kind of for everybody else and us, but mostly for everybody else."

"It was just something for him," she said before later adding they plan to have a major reception with "all of our family and our friends."

On the day of Gypsy's release, Ryan waited outside the prison doors to take her home, and the pair are now very much in their honeymoon phase, sharing glimpses of their personal life on social media with her 3 million followers

"It's fun. We're learning about each other," she said to Entertainment News of married life. 

"... We're just trying to take it day by day. We're just trying to start off our marriage on a good foot before we bring kids into our situation."

Feature Image: Instagram @ryan_s_anderson, @gypsyrose_a_blanchard. 

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