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Gypsy Rose Blanchard sues true crime creator for fraud and defamation

Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her family are suing a true crime producer and creator they once worked with, accusing him of fraud, breach of contract, defamation and more.

The defendant in the lawsuit is April Johns, also known as Franchesca or Fancy, Macelli. According to the lawsuit (obtained by Rolling Stone and filed last month in Livingston County, Missouri court), Blanchard and her family entered into a lifetime rights deal with Macelli in 2017 while Gypsy was still in prison for her role in the murder of her abusive mother, Dee Dee. Macelli promised to “produce media projects on Gypsy's behalf” through her production company, Mad Ginger Entertainment, according to the lawsuit.

In the years that followed, the Blanchards granted Macelli access and interviews, as well as a range of personal documents and evidence related to the case, including Blanchard's private medical records, family photos, crime scene photos, police videos, and court transcripts. But after some time, in 2019, the Blanchards decided not to renew their contract with Macelli because she had “failed to land any media projects or produce any marketable content.” They also said she had become “confrontational” about Blanchard's relationship with her then-fiancé, Ken Urker (another inmate Gypsy met through a pen pal program).

After that relationship ended, the Blanchards say, Macelli “sporadically produced content about Gypsy” on her various social media accounts. Macelli often spoke about her “dispute” with the Blanchard family and allegedly “increasingly focused on” the idea that Gypsy and her family were “hiding things.” Starting around October 2023 — not long after Blanchard was paroled — Macelli's content became “sharper and more caustic” and more frequent, according to the lawsuit. (The lawsuit points out that Macelli also made money from this content, as some of her accounts were either monetized or subscription-based.)

The lawsuit alleges that Macelli then released some of the material the Blanchards had previously given her, including Gypsy's medical records, crime scene reports (including photos of Dee Dee's body), and the plaintiffs' cell phone numbers. Macelli also allegedly made “repeated allegations” that the Blanchards were “stalking and encouraging people to stalk and harass” her, but provided “no evidence to substantiate these allegations.”

The lawsuit includes a series of statements Macelli made about Blanchard and her family, as well as before and after Gypsy's release from prison. In one, she said, “I'm so sick of Gypsy… I want to bury her so deep down a rabbit hole, and I think if I dig deep enough, I could make her look so damn bad.”

In another instance, Macelli appeared to cast doubt on the claim that Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy (Dee Dee had made Blanchard believe she was disabled and chronically ill for years, even subjecting her to unnecessary surgeries and medications). Macelli claimed that Gypsy's stepmother Kristy Blanchard “sold you damn Munchausen syndrome by proxy,” adding, “This is not damn medical child abuse. We got set up. Screw it, bitch. Sue me.”

In February, a lawyer for the Blanchards threatened to do just that. He wrote Macelli a letter demanding that she “immediately stop creating content and saying false, defamatory and harassing things” about the Blanchards and “remove the offensive material.” A few days later, Macelli posted a video on YouTube calling Gypsy a “dangerous f***ing person” and a “deviant” and saying that if she looked closely enough at the evidence in the case, she could “bury that bitch.”

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The Blanchards' lawsuit is based on five causes of action: fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, defamation and misrepresentation. They are seeking an injunction against Macelli to force her to stop, as well as unspecified damages.

Macelli did not return immediately Rolling StonePlease leave a comment.