We fact-checked 'The Act', the series based on Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard's story.

There are few true crime stories more horrifying than that of the early life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

After being released from prison on December 28, 2023, Gypsy's been in the news a lot lately, and there's a good chance you're aware of this case

But ICYMI, Gypsy Rose's mum, Dee Dee Blanchard, raised her daughter to believe she was suffering from a range of serious illnesses by falsifying her medical records, forcing her to use a wheelchair, and making her eat through a feeding tube – among other things.

Gypsy and her then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn conspired to murder Dee Dee (whose actions were in line with a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy) in 2015, with Nick stabbing the woman to death in her bed. 

Flash-forward to this year and Gypsy has just been released from prison after eight years behind bars. 

"First selfie of freedom!" she wrote to an Instagram following of almost 6 million.

During her incarceration, Gypsy's story inspired the 2019 TV series The Act, which dramatised the events leading up to the murder, casting Joey King as Gypsy Rose and Patricia Arquette as Dee Dee. 

Watch the trailer for The Act. Post continues after video.

Video via Binge. 

And Gypsy Rose is... not the biggest fan of the limited series. 

"I am unable to watch The Act," she told Bustle in 2019.

"I feel it is very unfair and unprofessional that producers and co-producer Michelle Dean has used my actual name and story without my consent, and the life rights to do so."

With permission or not, the series was praised for its depiction of the tragic events, even if each episode did conclude with the warning that "some scenes and characters have been dramatised or fictionalised".

So the question is: what was true, and which parts didn't happen? Following Gypsy's release, we decided it was time to fact-check – and the sad news is, most of the horrifying details shared in the series check out.

True: Dee Dee led doctors to believe Gypsy Rose had serious medical conditions.

As a nurse's aide, Dee Dee was familiar with medical terms and conditions. The illness claims began when Gypsy was only three months old, with Dee Dee saying her baby had sleep apnea. From there, the 'illnesses' grew in severity, going on to include asthma, eye problems, hearing problems, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, leukemia and even cancer.

Gypsy has since confirmed that the only condition she has is impaired vision due to a lazy eye. 

To ensure Gypsy wouldn't look into her own conditions as she became a teenager, Dee Dee told her daughter she had the mind of a seven-year-old, and her personal life was severely restricted. 

Experts believe that Dee Dee was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder in which a caregiver or parent applies an imaginary illness or injury to a person under their care. Dee Dee was able scam doctors partly because the family had lived in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, which meant that Gypsy's medical records and birth certificate had been destroyed.


True: Gypsy used a wheelchair, had a feeding tube inserted and had her teeth removed.

Due to her alleged muscular dystrophy, Gypsy moved around in a wheelchair. And eventually, her mother convinced doctors to insert a feeding tube. "My mother told the doctors that I couldn't eat," she told Dr. Phil in 2019. "They put a permanent feeding tube in." 

Then, because of medication she was taking for epilepsy, her teeth began to rot and fall out, which led to Dee Dee approving the removal of her daughter's teeth. 

Gypsy also had her salivary glands removed to stop her excessive drooling – a surgery her mother convinced doctors was necessary, after she applied topical anesthetic gel to numb Gypsy's gums and make her drool.

Joey King as Gypsy Rose Blanchard in The Act. Image: Binge. 


False: Dee Dee started a relationship with another man after her husband.

In the series, Dee Dee appears to start a relationship with a middle-aged man she meets at a sci-fi convention. They exchange phone calls where he suggests that Dee Dee is overly obsessed with her daughter.

However, there's no evidence that Dee Dee ever had a relationship after her first marriage to Rod Blanchard, Gypsy's dad. Dee Dee and Rod met when he was 17 and she was 24, falling pregnant in their first year of dating, then getting married for a brief stint, only to divorce after Rod turned 18. 

True: Dee Dee profited off Gypsy's alleged medical conditions. 

Basically, all the perks that Dee and Gypsy got in the series were based on real-life events. Habitat for Humanity built the duo a pink house with a wheelchair ramp and Make-A-Wish paid for a trip to Disney World. 

Dee Dee also profited from donations given by people who were following Gypsy's story, along with receiving invitations and flights to galas and conferences around the country. Country singer Miranda Lambert and her then-husband Blake Shelton once gave Dee Dee and Gypsy a check for $3,500.

True: Gypsy often dressed as Cinderella.

While Gypsy didn't only dress up as Cinderella, she did frequently put on costumes of a variety of Disney princesses, there were photos shared on her joint Facebook account with Dee Dee of her cosplaying as the fairytale princess. 


ABC News reported that, like in the series, on Gypsy's first date with Nick at the movies, she came as Cinderella and he came as Prince Charming. The pair acted like they were meeting for the first time in front of Dee Dee, but they'd actually been talking online for two years after meeting on a Christian dating site.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard as Cinderella. Image: Investigation Discovery. 

False: Nick called Dee Dee to confess he was the guy from the movie theatre.

In a bizarre scene in The Act, Nick rings Dee Dee to not only reveal himself as the mysterious Prince Charming from the cinema, but also tell her he'd been Gypsy's boyfriend for two years. 


But this phone call never happened in real life. 

True: Dee Dee tied Gypsy to the bed for two weeks. 

After Gypsy runs away on The Act, Dee Dee ties her daughter to the bed for two weeks. Sadly, this really did happen to Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

"She physically chained me to the bed, and put bells on the doors, and told anybody that I probably would have trusted that I was going through a phase," Gypsy said in a 20/20 interview.

False: Nick's... personality?

The Act portrayed Nick as a bit of a sensitive oddball who meant well, but a documentary on the case painted a different picture of a dangerous and controlling man. 

In Mommy Dead and Dearest, Gypsy claimed that Nick wanted to sexually assault Dee Dee before murdering her. To prevent this, Gypsy agreed that he could rape her instead, which he did following the murder.

Godejohn is currently serving a life sentence for murdering Dee Dee.

Calum Worthy tender depiction of Nick Godejohn in The Act. Image: Binge. 


True: The couple posted on Facebook confessing to the murder. 

After Nick broke into Dee Dee's room and stabbed her to death, the pair practically admitted to the murder on Facebook. Posting on Dee Dee and Gypsy's joint account, 'Dee Gyp Blancharde', one post read, "That Bitch is dead!"


Gypsy Rose later said she wanted to speed up the discovery of her mother's body.

True: Gypsy Rose mailed the murder weapon to Nick's house.

This is one of the many details that baffles any true crime buff: the fact the murderers sent the knife they used back to Nick's address. And yep, this actually happened. During Nick's interrogation, he admitted Gypsy organised an envelope to post the murder weapon to Nick's house, where they hid it in his bedroom closet.

The Act is currently streaming on Binge.

Feature image: Supplied/Binge. 

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