After eight episodes, on Wednesday, the final episode of The Act premiered on Hulu, wrapping up the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King) and the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette), who is thought to have had an undiagnosed case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Although the abuse that Gypsy suffered at the hands of Dee Dee was at the center of the story, another big relationship in The Act was Gypsy’s friendship with Lacey (AnnaSophia Robb), her neighbor who she viewed as a big sister. But are Gypsy and the real Lacey still friends today? In The Act, Lacey seemed to play a huge role in Gypsy’s life, especially as she grew up. Gypsy looked up to Lacey as a role model, and in the finale, she even called Lacey from jail, asking her to come visit so she could explain her mother’s murder and the medical abuse in her own words. In the show, Lacey never showed up to visit Gypsy, but in reality, the story with the actual Lacey goes a bit differently.
Lacey is actually based on a woman named Aleah Woodmansee, who did have that big sister relationship with Gypsy that Lacey had in The Act. In a Buzzfeed News report, Woodmansee said she was Gypsy’s confidant, and that Gypsy had told her about meeting men online through a Christian dating site, including her eventual boyfriend and co-conspirator Nicholas Godejohn. And just like Lacey did in the Hulu series, Woodmansee was the one who filled police in on these details, showing them Facebook messages that she’d received from Gypsy about her relationship.
Though Lacey was hesitant about whether or not she should continue supporting Gypsy in The Act, in real life, it seems Woodmansee has been there for her in the aftermath of Dee Dee’s murder. In an interview with a local Missouri Fox affiliate in 2016, Woodmansee said that she’d attended every hearing since Gypsy’s arrest.
“I’ve always just wanted to keep supporting her because I know that she didn’t just do this for no reason and just because she’s an evil person,” Woodmansee said at the time.
She hasn’t shared what her friendship is like with Gypsy today, but Woodmansee recently spoke with In Touch about The Act, and while she isn’t watching the series, she isn’t impressed with the portrayal she’s getting based on the trailer for the series.
“Honestly, I have not watched the show,” she said. “I’m always hesitant to watch anything that comes out, even interviews I did. To be quite honest, I don’t like what I hear about how I am being portrayed. I understand that it’s supposed to be dramatized but [there] are a few things I have had issues with.”
Will Gypsy and Woodmansee reunite when she is eligible for parole in 2024? It’s hard to say, but it sounds like her old friend and neighbor has certainly been rooting for her.