Fact Checking 'The Act' Episode 4: Did Dee Dee Blanchard Have Diabetes and did Gypsy Rose Do BDSM?
The newest episode of The Act hit Hulu this week, and they finally introduced Nicholas Godejohn, who you can probably guess plays a significant role in the series. This ep also introduced more horror into the dynamic of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose’s relationship, including physical abuse and Dee Dee’s own health issues. So, what’s real, and what’s artistic license? I’ll break it down for you below.
Did Dee Dee Have Diabetes?
Probably, yes. Per a search warrant, reported by the Springfield News-Leader, when the police searched the Blanchard home after Dee Dee’s murder, there was evidence that she was diabetic.
One of the warrants unsealed Wednesday says authorities initially received information that Dee Dee was diabetic and had obsessive-compulsive disorder, while Gypsy has a muscular disease that prevents her from walking, leukemia and requires oxygen at night.
Did Gypsy Rose have Guinea Pigs as Pets?
Maybe, but it’s unlikely. In reality, the Blanchards had two cats at the time of Dee Dee’s murder. Don’t worry—they were rescued by the local humane society. One was adopted out quickly to a family that had a little boy dealing with a traumatic incident. The other was up for adoption, but got a write up in the newspaper about it, so I’m fairly confident the kitty found a good home, eventually.
Did Gypsy Rose Have an Online Dating Account?
Yes, this is 100% correct. She met Nicholas Godejohn on a Christian dating site.
Did Dee Dee Keep Gypsy’s Dad, Rod, From Her?
Yes and no. Unlike in The Act, Rod spoke to his daughter and was actively involved in Gypsy’s life up until 2004 when Dee Dee moved Gypsy out of state. However, Rod was just as fooled by Dee Dee as everyone else and had no idea Gypsy Rose could walk, per Buzzfeed.
Did That Birthday Call From Rod to Gypsy Rose Really Happen?
Yes, although it happened earlier than The Act portrayed. Rod called Gypsy Rose on her real 18th birthday (which would have taken place in 2009, not 2013, since episode 4 of The Act was celebrating Gypsy Rose’s 18th birthday with her faked 1995 birth year), unaware that Dee Dee had told her that she was younger than she actually was. Dee Dee informed Rod not to tell Gypsy Rose that it was her 18th birthday, because it would upset and confuse her. Per Buzzfeed:
When Rod called Gypsy to talk on her 18th birthday, he said, he was excited to make all the jokes dads make to their daughters about becoming an adult. But Dee Dee intercepted the call, he said, to remind him that Gypsy didn’t know her true age. “She thinks she’s 14,” Dee Dee said. She asked that he not upset Gypsy by claiming otherwise. Rod heeded the instruction.
What’s With Dee Dee Always Touching Gypsy?
I’m glad The Act finally addressed this—it was noticed by many people who knew them that Dee Dee was constantly touching Gypsy Rose, which was Dee Dee’s way of asserting control over Gypsy Rose while out in public. If Gypsy Rose said something wrong, Dee Dee would squeeze her hard to let her know she messed up. This was covered in the HBO doc, Mommy Dead and Dearest and portrayed in The Act when Gypsy Rose was being interviewed by the lawyer to determine her mental capacity.
Did Gypsy Have a Secret Laptop?
Yes, and Dee Dee really did smash it with a hammer like she did in The Act.
Did Dee Dee Have Power of Attorney?
Yes, per Buzzfeed, Dee Dee did have Power of Attorney over Gypsy after Gypsy was 18.
Did Nick Have Multiple Personalities?
In the very least, Nick did tell Gypsy Rose that he had split personalities. Per Mommy Dead and Dearest, Gypsy Rose created matching female personas for all of Godejohn’s purported personalities. However, in Mommy Dead and Dearest when the police are interviewing Nick’s mother and asks if he has any mental illness, she indicates that he has been diagnosed as autistic, but does not mention a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder.
Did Gypsy Tell Nick About Her Ability to Walk?
Yes, per Gypsy’s account in the Buzzfeed article on her:
“I wish I would have reached out to somebody and told somebody before I told Nick.”
Did Nick Introduce Gypsy Rose to BDSM?
Yes. Per Buzzfeed:
Godejohn referred to his “evil side” because he and Gypsy had constructed an elaborate online fantasy life, mostly through a jigsaw puzzle of Facebook accounts. They were into BDSM imagery. They had specific names and roles for each other. They took pictures of themselves in costumes, Gypsy dressing up at one point as the comic book character Harley Quinn, posing with a knife. Reality and fantasy blended quite a lot, for both of them.
Did Dee Dee Tie Gypsy Rose to Her Bed?
Yes, per a People article:
The Missouri woman convicted of killing her mom — who abused her by portraying her as wheelchair-bound and terminally ill — says in a new interview that when she once tried to run away, her mom “physically chained me to the bed.”
Is there anything The Act is leaving out?
Yes. In my belief, The Act is downplaying the alleged physical abuse Gypsy Rose suffered at the hands of Dee Dee. Per People:
In 2011, those arguments turned physical, with Dee Dee using a coat hangar to strike her, she says. Gypsy Rose once ran away but Dee Dee found her hours later. “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, and to tell her if I was doing anything behind her back.”
Header Image Source: Hulu/YouTube
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Voting for the Pajiba 10 Begins Now
- Spoilers: Digging into the Runes Throughout ‘Midsommar,’ What the Hell They All Mean, and the Easter Eggs Ari Aster Hid Throughout
- By Erasing Oasis for a Cheap Joke, ‘Yesterday’ Also Does One of Its Only Female Characters a Disservice
- Review: Tom Holland Is Perfect In 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Even as the Story Struggles
- On the Spectacular 'Evvie Drake Starts Over' and the Time NPR's Linda Holmes Twitter Shamed Me