Gypsy Rose Blanchard may currently be behind bars for her role in her mother’s murder, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t found some measure of happiness in prison: A family friend has revealed that Gypsy is engaged to be married to the boyfriend she met while behind bars.
Franchesca Macelli told PEOPLE Magazine on Friday that Gypsy and her now-fiancé “are very happy” about their future together.
“You can hear excitement in her voice,” she said.
Macelli, who wouldn’t reveal the man’s identity out of respect for Gypsy’s wishes, added that the pair started dating about a year and a half ago after they struck up a pen pal correspondence while Gypsy was in prison.
“[This relationship] is a good thing for her,” Macelli told PEOPLE. “And whether it ends up being that way in the end no one knows, but for her right now it’s a very positive and happy time.”
The engagement is just one of the many ways that Gypsy’s family and friends say she is flourishing now that she’s no longer under her mother’s abusive thumb.
For years, her mother, Clauddine "Dee Dee" Blanchard, is believed to have pretended Gypsy had everything from leukemia to muscular dystrophy to developmental issues, forcing her to endure multiple unnecessary surgeries and medical treatments — a condition known as Munchausen by proxy.
This abuse went on until Gypsy’s online boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, stabbed Dee Dee to death in 2015. He was sentenced in February to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder. Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in 2016 for her role in orchestrating the attack.
Although she’s behind bars, her stepmother, Kristy Blanchard, told Oxygen.com during an April 2 interview she has been set free symbolically.
“She still says, ‘I’d rather be in here than be with my momma,” Kristy said. “She can walk. She can eat.”
More importantly, Kristy says, she can express herself. “She has a backbone now.”
When reached for comment regarding her stepdaughter’s engagement on Friday, Kristy said she was not granting any interviews for the time being.
Macelli, a screenwriter who is working on a fictionalized series about Gypsy’s case with Kristy, said she has been conversing with Gypsy for the past two years.
She told Oxygen.com during an April 2 interview that Gypsy has changed a lot over that time, and in a positive way — she’s seen Gypsy mature.
“In the beginning she knew what she did wasn’t the best option but she didn’t really know what other options she had,” she said. “Now she thinks about how she could have done it differently.”
She said Gypsy does express regret for her role in her mom’s killing, despite feeling that it was her only way out at the time. “Before she was a puppet of whatever her mother wanted her to be,” Macelli said.
Kristy added that Gypsy feels like she is going through a “rebirth” and is looking forward to being released from jail so that she can be an advocate for victims of Munchausen by proxy.
In addition to a possible spiritual awakening, Gypsy has also undergone a physical transformation.
No longer forced to shave her head, wear pink or giant glasses, she now looks nearly unrecognizable. Her hair was starting to grow in when she was first arrested, and by her 2016 court appearances, she was sporting long brunette locks. In interviews for the 2017 HBO documentary “Mommy Dead and Dearest” and in appearances on “Dr. Phil” the same year, it’s clear Gypsy has completely transformed from the days when she was allegedly abused by her mom. She is almost unrecognizable in her prison garb, her appearance vastly different than the bald, sickly-looking girl dressed in all pink.
Instead, she appears vibrant, almost glowing.
Still petite, she sported makeup while telling Dr. Phil that she is not glad that her mother is dead, but that she is happy to be out of that situation. She’s also traded in her large glasses for non-oversized ones and has gained weight since being incarcerated, according to BuzzFeed News.
Gypsy's friend Kim Blanchard (no relation) told BuzzFeed News, “She looked much more like the person that she was, which was the complete opposite of the person that I knew, and it was like she had a costume on that whole time and then took it off.”
Ethan Harfenist contributed to this report.
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