Gypsy Rose Blanchard is opening up about all things weddings and relationship drama.
It's been a whirlwind year for Gypsy, her fiance Ken and the rest of her family as they prepare for a potential prison wedding. From the public announcement, to the recent near-split, Gypsy Rose has a lot on her plate at the moment—as one can imagine, the wedding planning process is a challenge in itself, but it's a whole other story when you're doing it behind bars.
Luckily, Gypsy was able to find some time to talk to E! News exclusively all about her love life and her plans for her future. And the future looks bright for the bride-to-be who is close to completing her GED and works as a photographer for the prison.
To find out more about the girl who inspired The Act and HBOs Mommy Dead and Dearest, check out the below Q&A!
E!: How did you and Ken first meet?
G: He wrote me a letter of support after watching the HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest back in 2017. Anyway, I wrote him back and pretty soon we just started writing on a weekly basis. We became fast friends. It was pretty soon after that that we started talking on the phone. We would spend hours on the phone. I talked to him like I had known him my whole life and vice versa. It wasn't too late after that that I sent him a visitation form to come and visit me. He came and it was kind of a funny story but within the first thirty minutes he leaned over and gave me the most wonderful kiss of my whole life. So it's a prison visitation room, so the level of physical contact that is allowed is limited to holding hands and a brief hug, and a closed mouth kiss. The kiss he gave me was quite passionate. I looked at him and was like, 'I didn't even know you liked me like that', and he said ‘Yeah, I have for a while'. And I'm like, ‘I have for a while too'.
We just talked about it a little bit more and of course the insecurities were there. You don't want to start a relationship when you have X amount of years in prison. It seems a little unfair to the other person. He was just like, 'I want to be a support in your life', and I'm the first girl that he has ever told, ‘I love you too'. And I truly mean that with all my heart because I got to meet his mother recently. She told me the whole story about how he talked about me and how he has never talked about a girl like that before. She kind of called it. She was like, ‘You like that girl', and he was like, 'No, she is just my best friend.' It wasn't until that visit that it all kind of came out and we possessed our feelings for each other.
She's a sweetheart and completely supportive of our relationship. She was the first person to see my documentary before he did and she told him to watch the documentary. She's always been supportive of me.
E!: How do your father and Kristy feel about your relationship with Ken?
G: They're very supportive of him. Kristy and Ken have been Facebook friends for two years now. Ever since I started talking with Ken, I told Kristy, ‘Hey, friend this guy on Facebook, we are really good friends right now'. They've known each other for a while. Well, my dad, not so much, this visit was the first time they were able to talk. It was a beautiful moment because Ken looked at my dad and was like, 'You know, I really love your daughter and I have the best intentions with her and I really want to marry her and I would like your blessing'. My dad turned at him and looked at me and looked back at him said, "Welcome to the family, I hope you can take care of her'. Gave him the blessing and made me want to cry.
E!: How did Ken propose?
G: It was in a visit back in October, this was something we had discussed for a while, so it wasn't out of the blue. We bounced around the idea, we have a pretty solid thing going and we're pretty sure this is what we want. So, on the October visit he held my hands close and told me how much I meant to him and he's like, 'I would really, really be honored if I could have your hand in marriage,' and I said yes.
E!: Can you describe the wedding ring?
G: It was a silver band. I no longer have it, it got confiscated.
He did buy me a new one because we are going back and forth between if we are going to have a wedding ceremony in her. So, if we do decide to have the small ceremony inside, we're going to have both. So it's not like I'm getting cheated out of wearing the dress, or my father getting to walk me down the aisle, I will have that on the outside when I come home.
It was announced we were going to get married in January, but right now we put that on hold. We're still engaged, but we put the prison ceremony on hold right now until we can come to a decision together about it.
E!: So if you guys agree to do it while you're behind bars, how does that look? What does that look like?
G: it would just be something very small in the visitation room. They perform the ceremonies in the visitation room. He's allowed to bring in the rings. We are allowed to give our own written vows to each other, we are allowed four guests. Who would probably attend would be his mother, Kristy and my dad, and that's pretty much it. It's very intimate, it's very small. They don't really do anything extravagant for a prison wedding.
E!: What would the outside wedding look like? How do you envision that?
G: I think I envision what every woman envision her wedding to be. I have always wanted in my mind, an outdoor ceremony, possibly in a gazebo. I had Ken get me a subscription to a bridal magazine so I could look at dresses and stuff. I don't want a poofy dress, I think I want something pretty but not too, too much. And all of our friends and family invited.
E!: Do you have any idea what your wedding dress would look like?
G: Silky with probably a lot of bling. I watch Say Yes to the Dress quite frequently, and I like the dresses that are kind of capped sleeves. I don't need to pull off anything too long—I'm short, pushing 5 foot. So something simple, yet elegant.
E!: What does your father think about the idea of getting married while you're still inside?
G: I've talked to him about it and he said that he prefers for us to wait until I'm released. However, he said, 'You're a grown girl, you're my daughter, I support you in anything you want to do.' So I know no matter what I have his blessing, but, just as a fatherly opinion, he would prefer us to wait.
E!: How do you feel about that? Why was there a definitive 2020 wedding date and now you're not so sure?
G: That was due to us needing a personal break. We're still a couple, we simply took a brief break to focus on our personal growth, whether that was taking a week or a month break to do so, just to kind of clear our heads and come back together stronger. As it stands now, we're still engaged. We're just trying to figure out what works best for us, how we can include our families so our families don't feel left out.
E!: What are the unique difficulties you face as a couple?
G: Well, I've been in the public eye for quite some time now. Ever since my case was made public 4 years ago, this has been a non-stop roller-coaster ride for me of media hounding. I'm always in some form or fashion on TV. Being in the public eye, as well as the long distance nature of our relationship, is definitely a challenge. But, as an inmate we have to deal with times where we go into lock-down and I can't call him on the phone. Recently, our particular facility implemented a 15-minute phone timer once every hour. Whereas two months ago, they didn't have a timer. You could talk 5 hours constantly on the phone. Believe me, we would, I would spend hours on that phone talking to Ken. We would have date night on his day off. But since [the new rules] were put in place it caused tension in our relationship, because we're having to deal with the communication difference, as well as it being a long distance relationship. Because of where he lives, he can come to visit me once every three months or so.
It's hard, but it's all worth it. Right now, we're just trying to go through the adjustment period, from talking for hours on end to talking for 15 minutes every hour. We've been trying to adjust to it, and I've been trying to stay positive. So that's the big difficulty with a prison relationship; having good, steady communication.
Everything in our relationship has been going very smoothly. We don't fight, we talk out our problems. He's very understanding, very supportive, very easy to talk things out with. He's not one of those people who is going to be like, 'Well this is your fault.' He's very sensitive to my emotions, especially because I'm in prison, my emotions are a little bit heightened with me. Then, this unexpected thing happened with the phone call limitation. I'm like, 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do,' and he's like, 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do,' and it did put a bump in the road with us.
E!: Is he still planning to move closer?
G: Yes. The move was going to be planned for next month. But due to financialobligations, the move has been pushed back to early next year. Then he could come visit me every weekend if he wanted, we could spend physical time together. Our relationship, the majority of it, even though we have had visits, has been spaced out. Going 3, 4 months without a visit, you miss someone and it gets difficult. At the same time, we both have the same mutual desire to make it work. So no matter what, we still have that solid foundation of being best friends, because we were best friends before we became in a relationship.
E!: Do you think children are in your future?
G: Yes, definitely. We're probably not going to wait a year or two after I am out. We want to give ourselves that adjustment period, that way we can have our big wedding ceremony, have a honeymoon, have time together as just us, and then work on having a family after that.
E!: Do you know how many kids you want to have?
G: Probably two or three. My mother didn't allow me to have a relationship with my half-siblings, so growing up as an only child, I would want my child to have a sibling and to have that bond.
E!: What are some of your other aspirations after your release?
G: I really want to be an advocate for abused children, particularly those who have been victims of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. I've been there, that's where my passion is. I've got a soft spot for children and I want to make a difference. Beyond my own happiness with marriage and children, I just want to be a role model for others and try to make a positive difference in the world. If sharing my story, by doing public speaking to various charities, wherever.
E!: Are you keeping a journal about your experience?
G: No, the way I've been coping is by leaning on Ken. He's been my journal, every day I'll either send him an email, or I'll write to him in a letter, or talk to him on the phone and kind share my experiences of what I'm going through in here. I kind of vent to him and he's my release and he's my comfort.
E!: Will you tell us a little more about who Ken is as a person?
G: I think the most interesting thing about him is that you would look at him and you would think he is probably your typical 26-year-old guy. He actually is kind of a nerd, so we like a lot of the same things, because I am pretty much a nerd myself. I love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter; we are particularly totally in love with Harry Potter. We can't wait to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I am free and he's one of those people that has a very kind heart. He just recently, it was so cute, he was walking to work and he saw this dog in a car and the car had its windows rolled up and the dog was just barking and barking, panting and he was like, 'I can't just leave this dog behind like I have to call somebody!' I'm like, 'Okay!' So I stayed on the phone with him until he called the police so the police could come and check on the dog and I'm like, 'Aww. That's sweet, you're going to go rescue a dog that you don't even know.'
So he's very kindhearted. He wears his heart on his sleeve. And he's a big sports fan, which is kind of annoying for me because he's always watching football. I'm like, 'Oh my god. I was like, why don't you just go marry the Dallas Cowboys instead?' [laughs]
I'm a Saints fan because I'm originally from New Orleans. So that's my team and the Dallas Cowboys is his, even though he doesn't live there he just really likes the Cowboys. So each year that they go head to head we make a bet, so he'll have something like if you lose you have to do this or if I lose you'll have to do that. Last year I lost [laughs].
E!: What was the bet?
G: It's personal [laughs].
E!: Is he an only child as well?
G: No, he is one of five. He has a big family and so do I. My father's side is pretty big so the wedding is probably going to have a lot, a lot of guests.
It's something I am relieved about because it's like, a lot of people in here they don't always have that family support. So I look at them and I look at me and I'm really lucky to have the family that I do. Especially on his side too because I was very concerned when we first started dating, because I was like, 'Oh my god your family is going to think of me like I'm in prison for murder!' And he was like, 'No my mom has watched the documentary and my grandma has watched the documentary and my grandma, my brother and everybody has watched it so they know your story and they do have a heart for you.' So I didn't have to explain everything, it was sort of already known when I came into the picture.
E!: Do you think at some point down the road that you would petition for an early release?
G: That's something that my father is spearheading. He has a petition on Change.org for Gypsy Blanchard that has I think 175,000 signatures by now? That was the last count.
In a final statement, Gypsy says, "I would just like to say that Ken and I are happily engaged and he is not only my fiancé but my best friend as well. He brings nothing but love and positivity to my life and I look forward to what the future holds for us together."