By now almost everyone knows who Gypsy Rose Blanchard is. The young woman is currently in prison for plotting to have her mother murdered after suffering years of abuse. Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy Rose’s mother, was said to have a severe case of Munchausen by proxy, faking her daughter's supposed multiple illnesses to gain attention for herself.
Hulu is currently airing their true crime series The Act which focuses on the life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother and has many wondering who Rod Blanchard, Gypsy Rose's father is, and why he didn't do more to protect his daughter from her mother.
Rod Blanchard was 17-years-old when he married a pregnant 23-year-old Dee Dee Blanchard. The couple separated during Dee Dee's pregnancy, and he claims in an online petition he wrote to free his daughter from her 10-year prison sentence that Dee Dee did her best to keep him separated from his daughter.
"I too was lead to believe Gypsy was sick her whole life," Rod wrote. "Dee Dee and I were married then separated during her pregnancy. I was 17 Dee Dee was 23. I have always tried to be the best father I could, but Dee Dee always kept my relationship with Gypsy very limited."
In hindsight, Rod Blanchard admits he should have been more skeptical of Dee Dee's behavior when it came to their daughter.
"Dee Dee always told me (Gypsy's) mental capacity was behind four or five years, which was understandable. She told me every time she had a seizure; it would set her back," Rod Blanchard told the News-Leader. "It was very weird that she wouldn't let me celebrate her 18th birthday or let her know she was 18. That was part of the whole scam, I guess. Looking back now, it probably should have brought up a big red flag."
Rod told the paper that Dee Dee began claiming Gypsy Rose had health issues as early as 3 months old, saying she required a CPAP machine for sleep apnea. "The next thing was that she had epilepsy," Rod said. "Over time, Gypsy became more and more sick."
He also claimed that Dee Dee never left him and his new wife Kristy alone with Gypsy Rose. "We were very intimidated about her medical conditions," he said. "Dee Dee was explicit that she had to be by her side 24-7. So we never did get to build that bond."
It's clear that Rod feels a lot of guilt over what his daughter was forced to endure for most of her life. "We all have failed Gypsy, her mother, the doctors, the police, and myself," he wrote in his petition. "Any one of us could have done more to free her from hell with her mother. She never had a chance, she was brainwashed, threatened. Lived in fearful captivity in a child's body her entire life. She never got to blossom into the beautiful young woman she deserves to be."
Rod told PEOPLE that his daughter has a home with him and his wife Kristy as soon as she's free. “She’ll always have a home here,” Rod says. “We’ll put her on the right path.” Rod is currently trying to get his daughter's sentence shortened and trying to have her sent to a facility to focus on her mental health so she can get the help she truly needs. "She has suffered long enough," he wrote. "Please help her come home."