Gypsy Rose Blanchard, slated for release from prison, expresses remorse for the murder of her mother: ‘She didn’t deserve that’ (Exclusive)

Gypsy Rose Blanchard has spent the last eight years incarcerated, replaying the events of June 2015 repeatedly in her mind. Now 32, and slated for release on Thursday, Dec. 28, she vividly recalls the dark period when she and her then-boyfriend, Nicholas “Nick” Godejohn, conspired to end the life of her mother, Dee Dee. Dee Dee had subjected Gypsy to unnecessary medical procedures, and the court acknowledged Gypsy as a victim of Munchausen by proxy, a rare form of abuse where a guardian fabricates or induces illness in a child for attention.

At the time of the murder, Gypsy asserts she was enduring mental and physical abuse, compelled into yet another needless surgery. Now, she shares with PEOPLE, “I was desperate to get out of that situation.” Gypsy admits that desperation led her to ask Godejohn to carry out the act while she waited in the bathroom of their Springfield, Mo., home.

The notorious crime gained global attention, depicted in Hollywood adaptations like HBO’s “Mommy Dead and Dearest” in 2017 and Hulu’s 2019 series “The Act.” Now, as Gypsy anticipates telling her own story in Lifetime’s upcoming docuseries, “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard,” premiering on Jan. 5, she opens up exclusively to PEOPLE about the deep remorse and newfound sense of forgiveness.

Reflecting on her past, Gypsy expresses uncertainty about altering pivotal moments. “If I had another chance to redo everything, I don’t know if I would go back to when I was a child and tell my aunts and uncles that I’m not sick and mommy makes me sick,” says Gypsy. “Or, if I would travel back to just the point of that conversation with Nick and tell him, ‘You know what, I’m going to go tell the police everything.’ I kind of struggle with that.”

However, she firmly emphasizes, “Nobody will ever hear me say I’m glad she’s dead or I’m proud of what I did. I regret it every single day.”

By the age of 7, Dee Dee had falsely claimed numerous illnesses for Gypsy, including muscular dystrophy, requiring a wheelchair despite Gypsy’s ability to walk. The deception continued with unnecessary feeding tubes and a false leukemia diagnosis, with Dee Dee even shaving Gypsy’s head. Gypsy spent years in the dark, aware of her ability to walk but confused about the other alleged ailments.

Despite Gypsy’s attempts to voice concerns, she faced manipulation and verbal abuse. In her teen and young adult years, the relationship turned violent, with Dee Dee resorting to physical abuse. Gypsy’s decision to have her mother killed came after a failed attempt to escape another unnecessary procedure on her larynx. Feeling trapped, she discussed the plan with Godejohn, met through an online dating site, who pledged to do anything to protect her.

Godejohn received a life sentence for the crime, expressing a willingness to repeat it to save Gypsy. However, after years of reflection and therapy, Gypsy acknowledges, “She didn’t deserve that. She was a sick woman, and unfortunately, I wasn’t educated enough to see that. She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior.”

Granted parole two years before her 10-year sentence’s expiration, Gypsy anticipates reuniting with her father and stepmother, who have supported her throughout. She looks forward to joining her husband, Ryan Anderson, a Louisiana teacher she married while incarcerated. As she prepares for the scrutiny that comes with freedom, Gypsy hopes her story serves as a cautionary tale against resorting to extreme measures in abusive relationships.

Approaching her impending freedom, Gypsy shares, “I’m on the eve of happiness,” despite still grappling with her past. “It’s a journey. I’m still really trying to come to a place of forgiveness for her, for myself and the situation,” she says. “I still love my mom, and I’m starting to understand that it was something that was maybe out of her control, like an addict with an impulse. That helps me with coping and accepting what happened.”

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