Elisabeth Finch, a screenwriter for the hit ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” admitted to lying about her cancer diagnosis and the death of her brother. She said that trauma led her to spin her web of lies.
“I’ve never had any form of cancer,” she admitted to the Ankler in an interview published Wednesday. “I told a lie when I was 34 years old and it was the biggest mistake of my life. It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and got buried deeper and deeper inside me,” Finch said. “What I did was wrong. Not okay. Fucked up. All the words.”
Finch was put on a leave of absence early in 2022 while her supposed debilitating health crises were placed under investigation.
For years, Elisabeth Finch shared her personal traumas with friends and online, as she spun them into fodder for hit TV. But as messages to showrunners claimed, and as her ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ colleagues began to realize, the stories weren’t her own. https://t.co/NbIWOdoPse
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) November 19, 2022
Finch claimed a real knee injury she suffered in 2007 generated attention she craved. She said it went “dead quiet” when she recovered.
“I had no support and went back to my old maladaptive coping mechanism,” Finch said. “I lied and made something up because I needed support and attention and that’s the way I went after it.” She took her lie so far that she attached a fake port catheter to herself and would pretend to vomit in the bathroom, according to the Ankler.
Several storylines for “Grey’s Anatomy” stemmed from her ostensibly real-life illnesses and Finch admitted those were entirely fabricated.
Finch lied about having a rare type of cancer called chondrosarcoma in 2012 and subsequently went on to publish multiple personal essays with Elle about her medical scare and struggle, according to the Ankler. Many of those publications have since been deleted.
The disgraced screenwriter also claimed that she lost a kidney and part of her leg.
“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” Finch said
“I lied and there’s no excuse for it. But there’s context for it. The best way I can explain it is when you experience a level of trauma a lot of people adopt a maladaptive coping mechanism,” Finch told the Ankler.
“Some people drink to hide or forget things. Drug addicts try to alter their reality. Some people cut. I lied. That was my coping and my way to feel safe and seen and heard,” she said. (RELATED: Popular TV Host Grapples With Terminal Cancer And Seizes His Few Remaining Days)
Former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ writer admits she faked having cancer, lied about her brother committing suicide, and about having an abortion.
Elisabeth Finch says she lied because she became used to the attention & care she received from people when she got a knee replacement in 2007. pic.twitter.com/7ATKziIqct
— Pop Base (@PopBase) December 8, 2022
Finch also admitted to lying about the death of her brother, Eric, who she claimed had committed suicide in 2019. Eric is alive and well and works as a doctor in Florida, according to the Ankler.
Finch’s many layers of lies were exposed in March 2022 when she lost track of her own fibs and got caught.
“When you get wrapped up in a lie you forget who you told — what you said to this person and whether this person knows that thing — and that’s the world where you can get caught,” Finch said.
“I could only hope that the work that I’ve done will allow me back into those relationships where I can say, ‘OK, I did this, I hurt a lot of people and I’m also going to work my fucking ass off because this is where I want to be and I know what it’s like to lose everything,’” Finch added.