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Fact Checking the Season Finale of 'The Act': So, Gypsy Rose Blanchard Has a Dad?!

By Kate Hudson | TV | May 3, 2019 |

By Kate Hudson | TV | May 3, 2019 |


Well, that’s a wrap on The Act. No announcement on a second season of the hit Hulu show…yet. I’m pretty confident a renewal is a no-brainer on Hulu’s part, though—the show has been a massive success for them. Now, whether a second season is a continuation of Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s story, or it covers a new true-crime story remains to be seen, but obviously as soon as we know, we’ll let you know.

(Also, see the fact-checking for episodes 1-2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, episode 6, episode 7, and what the Real Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard (and Others) Look Like)

The last episode covered Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn’s arraignment, life in prison while awaiting trial, the aftermath of their crime, and an in-depth look at how the murder happened. As usual, the show took a lot of liberties that I’ll break down for you now.

Did Gypsy Rose Really Gain Weight In Prison?

Yes. Gypsy Rose really did gain weight in prison once her diet was no longer controlled by her mother.

Michael Stanfield, Gypsy Rose’s lawyer, recalled in Buzzfeed:

Gypsy is now an inmate being processed at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Missouri. Her hair is long, her skin clear and healthy, and she wears proper adult glasses. She’s off all her medications, and there have been no health problems in the year she’s been out of her mother’s control. “Most of my clients lose weight in prison,” Stanfield pointed out, because the food is so bad. Gypsy gained 14 pounds in the 12 months she spent in Greene County Jail before her plea.

What About Gypsy Rose’s Surprising Prison Phone Call to Her Dad?

I’ve covered this extensively in my previous fact-checking posts on The Act, but Rod Blanchard was involved in Gypsy Rose’s life throughout her childhood and adulthood. Gypsy Rose knew who he was, and up until 2004, spent time with him, his wife Kristy, and their children.

Rod was alerted that Gypsy Rose was missing when Dee Dee’s body was found—and was distraught over the matter. Per Buzzfeed:

That all changed last June when Rod called Kristy, sobbing in the middle of a workday. Dee Dee’s sister had called him; Dee Dee was dead and Gypsy was missing. “I was in hysterics thinking she got brought somewhere and was left to die,” Kristy said. And if Gypsy was found, she continued, “how could I take care of her when Dee Dee knew everything on how to take care of her?”

Additionally, Gypsy Rose spoke to Rod when she was arrested, per the HBO doc Mommy Dead and Dearest, proclaiming her innocence to him.

The absence of Rod in Gypsy Rose’s life throughout The Act was a plot device for the show and is not based in reality.

Did Nicholas Godejohn Admit to Killing Dee Dee at His Arraignment Like He did On The Act?

No, this was fabricated for The Act. At his arraignment, Godejohn only spoke to ask if he could sit down. He definitely did not admit guilt in open court, per the Springfield News Leader.

Godejohn, 26, made his first court appearance in Greene County at an arraignment Monday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the stabbing death of 48-year-old Clauddinnea “Dee Dee” Blanchard.


Godejohn looked straight forward throughout Monday’s arraignment and didn’t speak other than asking his attorneys if he was OK to sit down.

Did Mel Really Visit Gypsy Rose in Prison?

No. Mel’s character has no real-life counterpart and was a fictional character made up for The Act.

Did Gypsy Rose Hide in the Bathroom While Nicholas Stabbed Her Mother to Death?

Yes and no. I covered this in episode 6’s fact-checking post:

According to Gypsy Rose per ABC News, Nicholas came to the door of the Blanchard home after Dee Dee was asleep, Gypsy Rose let him in, showed him where Dee Dee’s room was, and then waited for him in the bathroom while he stabbed Dee Dee to death—Gypsy Rose was shaving her legs as the murder happened. According to Gypsy Rose, Dee Dee was startled awake and cried out for Gypsy Rose a few times, and then it was silent. The couple had sex in Gypsy Rose’s bed, Gypsy Rose took thousands of dollars of her mother’s cash and then the two took a taxi to Nicholas’ hotel.
So while Gypsy Rose was in the bathroom, she wasn’t there solely to avoid listening to her mother being murdered. She was shaving her legs. Additionally, by Gypsy Rose’s own admission, Dee Dee didn’t cry out, loudly, as much as she did in The Act.

Per ABC News:

“I heard her scream once, and there was more screaming but not like the kind in a horror film. Just like a startled scream, and she asked, ‘Who was it that was in the bedroom?’ And she called out to my name about three or four times,” Gypsy said.

Did Gypsy Rose Free Her Pets Before She Left Her Home After Dee Dee was Murdered?

Probably not. I covered what happened to the known pets of the Blanchard women, after Dee Dee’s murder in a previous post:

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. /

Well, there you have it. The Act season one is complete. What did you think about the series, and the liberties it took with the real-life Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard?

Miss any of the previous fact-checking posts? You can find them here: Episode 1&2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7. Also, if you’re curious to see what the real life people The Act is based on look like, you can see them here.

Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

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