The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer Lied About Cancer Diagnosis And Brothers Suicide


Nine months after leaving the ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, Elisabeth Finch, a former writer and consulting producer, has admitted that she “lied” about her personal and medical history.

Finch, 44, admitted that lying while working on the well-regarded medical drama was “the biggest mistake of my life.”

In an interview with The Ankler that was published on Wednesday, she said, “What I did was terrible.” “Not good. F—-ed up. every single syllable”

After claiming to have a rare bone disease called chondrosarcoma and then losing a kidney and part of her leg, Finch later said she “never had any sort of cancer.” She is also accused of having admitted to her former coworkers that her chemotherapy treatments caused her to have an abortion.

Finch also acknowledged lying about her older brother Eric’s suicide, who is still alive and practising medicine in Florida, when she was a Grey’s Anatomy employee.

She said to the outlet, “I know it’s extremely horrible what I did. “There is no defence for the lie I told. But there is background to everything. The simplest way I can explain it is that many people develop maladaptive coping mechanisms when they encounter a certain amount of trauma. Some people drink in an effort to conceal or forget. Drug users attempt to change their reality. Certain people cut. I lied. That helped me cope and allowed me to feel secure, heard, and seen.”

Finch said she began to lie after injuring her knee in 2007.

“Everyone was so amazing and so wonderful leading up to all the surgeries. They were so supportive,” she said of the response she received at the time. “And then I got my knee replacement. It was one hell of a recovery period and then it was dead quiet because everyone, naturally, was like, ‘Yay! You’re healed.'”

“But it was dead quiet,” she continued. “And I had no support and went back to my old maladaptive coping mechanism — I lied and made something up because I needed support and attention and that’s the way I went after it. That’s where that lie started — in that silence.”

Finch claimed that she left the Shondaland show and checked into a facility in Arizona before ABC Disney Television Studios could begin an investigation into her past amid allegations that she had made up her medical and personal history earlier this year.

Finch claimed her wife left her after the allegations became public in March and that her family had abandoned her.

“I wish I had a grid that would show who’s not talking to me because they can’t [legally],” she said. “Who’s not talking to me because they don’t know what to say. Who’s not talking to me because they’re pissed off. And then who’s sitting there waiting for me to reach out. I have no clue … it’s been a very quiet, very sad time.”

She continued, “There were people who, when [the] article came out, were immediately very, very nasty on text. Family and friends who called me ‘a monster’ and ‘a fraud’ and said that’s all I’ll ever be known for and soon, more truth would come out.”

PEOPLE confirmed in March that Finch had been suspended from her work on the ABC hit due to her allegations. A representative for Shondaland, a business Shonda Rhimes started, told PEOPLE at the time that “Only Elisabeth can speak to her personal narrative.”

Finch’s lawyer at Lavely & Singer, Andrew B. Brettler, also spoke to PEOPLE on her behalf.

“Ms. Finch is not going to discuss her private health matters,” Brettler said in a statement. “Likewise, she will not speak about her pending divorce from her estranged wife, Jennifer Beyer, or comment on any statements that Ms. Beyer may have made to third parties about Ms. Finch.”

Finch first joined Grey’s Anatomy in 2014. While working on the acclaimed drama, she notably wrote the 2015 episode titled “Silent All These Years.” The episode, which centered around a sexual assault victim, also featured her acting in the role of Nurse Elisabeth.

Previously, Finch said the storyline on Catherine Fox’s (Debbie Allen) cancer battle was inspired by her own fight with the illness.

“My boss, Krista Vernoff, suggested I use my point of view as a person with cancer to write a storyline where one of our beloved characters is diagnosed, too,” she wrote in an essay for ELLE in 2018.

“I was certain Catherine Fox should be the character we diagnosed with cancer — a brilliant, vibrant, sexy, 60-something, world-class surgeon — whose fire is matched only by the actress who plays her: Debbie Allen,” Finch continued. “I wanted Catherine to be diagnosed with a spinal tumor similar to mine, only this time, the doctors would tell her the truth. Because she, like the rest of the world, shouldn’t have it any other way.”

“So I started outlining the episode with the support of an amazing writing staff, but I secretly convinced myself the episode would never air,” she added. “It was the only way I knew how to write it without breaking my rule of never saying ‘no’ to work.”