Gypsy Rose Blanchard became an overnight sensation after her prison release. Was it worth it?

Gypsy Rose Blanchard was everywhere in what felt like moments after being released from prison.

The 32-year-old spent seven years behind bars for orchestrating the murder of her mother. She is believed to be a victim of child abuse through Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which a caretaker makes someone ill (or appear to be ill) for attention.

Blanchard has been a tabloid figure since the news of her arrest broke nearly a decade ago. Her case was covered in the 2017 HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest and adapted for a 2019 Hulu limited series called The Act. Everyone knew Blanchard’s story, but even when she spoke for herself from behind bars, she wasn’t the one in charge of her own narrative.

By the time Blanchard was released from prison on Dec. 28, 2023, she and her team had built a fandom on TikTok and Twitter (now X), where her supporters called her “queen” and “mother” — words usually used to describe a favorite pop star. She had over 1 million followers on social media, where she posted frequently about even the most mundane aspects of her life, like her outfits and her husband Ryan Anderson, whom she married while in prison.

Blanchard’s renewed stardom went beyond the internet as well. She appeared on high-profile television shows, from The Viewto 20/20, and the covers of magazines like People. She filmed two docuseries for Lifetime, including the forthcoming Gypsy Rose: Life After Lock Up.

Yahoo Entertainment’s attempt to reach Blanchard for comment wasn’t immediately successful.

Anna Grace Du Noyer, a PR strategist and owner of Fierce Media, told Yahoo Entertainment that Blanchard’s choice to speak openly about her experience and appear on multiple shows was likely “less about seizing the spotlight and more about reclaiming her narrative.”

“Engaging with the media was her first real opportunity to voice her truth, unfiltered and unmanipulated,” she said. “The public’s voracious appetite for her story meant silence wasn’t just golden; it was suspicious.”

After three months of freedom, Blanchard’s life now looks very different. She announced a split from Anderson, who had been a constant presence in her interviews and on her social media accounts, in a March 28 Facebook post obtained by People.

“People have been asking what is going on in my life. Unfortunately, my husband and I are going through a separation and I moved in with my parents’ home down the bayou,” she wrote. “I have the support of my family and friends to help guide me through this. I am learning to listen to my heart. Right now I need time to let myself find…who I am.”

Blanchard has also deleted her public social media profiles. She said in a video posted to a private social media account that was obtained by the Daily Mail that she had “absolutely no trouble” choosing to delete her public profiles.

“I had people be like, ‘You’re insane for deleting that kind of a following,’ and I’m like, ‘I could give an F about a following,’” she said in the post. “That’s not real life.”

Grayce McCormick, founder of Lightfinder PR, told Yahoo that the strain of creating a curated online persona can exacerbate the relationships beneath the surface.

“While the initial outpouring of support may have been empowering, it also exposed her to intense public scrutiny and pressure,” she said.

Though Blanchard might have felt an outpouring of support following her initial post-prison press run, what she does in its aftermath will impact the way she lives the rest of her life.

Cassaundra Kalba, a senior publicist at Society22 PR, told Yahoo that the impact that prolonged media exposure can have on people who aren’t used to it “cannot be overstated.” To Kalba, Blanchard’s decision to retreat from public life is “less a sign of breakdown and more an assertion of agency.”

“In [her] case, taking time to focus on personal growth and healing is not only understandable but commendable,” she said. “It reflects a mature decision to prioritize her well-being and personal development over continuing to satisfy the relentless appetite of public curiosity.”

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