Viewers of The Act have seen Dee Dee carefully organizing her cash pouch many times now on the Hulu series. In real life, Dee Dee Blanchard was as money-conscious as her fictional character. She came up with many ways to glean cash from friends, family, neighbors, and well-wishers along the way. Because Dee Dee had convinced people that her daughter Gypsy Rose Blanchard was severely ill, people were more than willing to step in to help the family financially and otherwise.
However, after Dee Dee's 2015 murder, it came out that her daughter wasn't sick at all. Gypsy Rose had actually planned her mother's death in order to escape the life Dee Dee had constructed for them. Gypsy is now serving 10 years in prison for her role in the crime, and people were shocked to learn that she didn't need to use a wheelchair, didn't have MS, didn't need a feeding tube, and so much more. Experts believe that Dee Dee had munchausen syndrome by proxy, meaning she fabricated Gypsy's illnesses to gain sympathy or financial help from others — and, boy, did those others come through for the Blanchards.
Dee Dee's ex-husband and Gypsy's father Rod Blanchard told Buzzfeed that he paid Dee Dee $1200 in child support every month even after Gypsy turned 18 because he believed she still needed full-time care. “There was never a question whether or not I was going to stop paying,” Rod said. Speaking of full-time care, ABC News reported that Dee Dee received government support via food stamps, disability checks, and social security since she supposedly couldn't work in order to take care of Gypsy.
In addition to that, Dee Dee found other ways to raise money. Buzzfeed also reported that Dee Dee used to set up movies and a concession stand at her house and charge people to come, supposedly to raise money for Gypsy's medical care. However, ABC News reported that Gypsy's medical needs were taken care of by Medicaid.
But wait, there's more. Gypsy's supposed story also inspired people and charities to help the family out. R29 previously reported that the Blanchards' house was built for them by Habitat for Humanity, Make a Wish gifted them a free Disney World trip, and Miranda Lambert even gave them $3500 at one point. Buzzfeed also reported that, after the murder, Gypsy actually took $4000 that Dee Dee had stockpiled from her various child support checks and other financial wheelings and dealings. The Buzzfeed report said that those who knew Dee Dee remembered her as "generous with money" when she could be, which goes to show that she was likely doing pretty well thanks to all her different sources of income.
Faking Gypsy's illnesses not only affected Gypsy, but it took advantage of the kindness of others along the way. Rod paid child support longer than he needed to, neighbors and friends were guilted into helping out, and charities donated to the Blanchards when other families in-need could have benefitted. In that way, Dee Dee's scam runs much deeper than just Gypsy's falsified health status.