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'Biggest mistake of my life': 'Grey's Anatomy' writer Elisabeth Finch says she 'lied' about having cancer

The screenwriter went so far as to shave her head and feign illness to convince co-workers she had cancer
Elisabeth Finch revealed she told countless lies about her health and family (Frederick M Brown/Getty Images)
Elisabeth Finch revealed she told countless lies about her health and family (Frederick M Brown/Getty Images)

​'Grey's Anatomy' screenwriter Elisabeth Finch has finally confessed to her fabricated medical condition. Of her stories about battling cancer, abortion, and her family's suicide, the author once claimed that her episodes were inspired by her own struggles in life.

The former consulting producer of the ABC drama admitted to her lies in an interview with The Ankler. She was put on a leave of absence by the show after numerous allegations of her lying about her health and family situations.


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Writer of the popular medical drama, Finch opened up to The Ankler saying that “I told a lie when I was 34 years old and it was the biggest mistake of my life.” She further added that “It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and got buried deeper and deeper inside me,” and also said that “I’ve never had any form of cancer.”

Finch admitted that she lied to her colleagues in 2019 that her older brother died by suicide while explaining her absence from the writer's room with a note that read “I’ve been gone bc my brother died by suicide,” and “He was on life support for a short while but ultimately did not survive. I say this not because I need or want anything from anyone, I’m not a delicate flower or whatever, I just want people to know I’m still here, still part of the team."

In reality, her brother Eric works as a doctor in Florida. She further reasons her lie about her brother's death by saying that “I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did. 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."

She further added, "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.”, reports the news outlet.

Talking to Peter Kiefer, the journalist of The Ankler who first came up in breaking out the news of her lies, Finch said "What I did was wrong. Not okay. F***d up. All the words". She confessed that during the time of her knee replacement in 2007 followed by a hiking accident, she received much attention but once she was healed, the attention stopped. She then ended up lying for sympathy and attention.

For many years, Finch pretended that she was battling cancer and was forced to undergo chemotherapy following which she had to have an abortion. She even talked about her medical condition to popular news and entertainment outlets and also made her unreal story an inspiration for the storylines of 'Grey's Anatomy'.

According to The Ankler, Finch's colleagues from the ABC drama told them that she "always had some tragedy going on," and "things that don't happen to other people happen to her all the time".

Least expecting to get caught, her stories were first taken under suspicion by her now ex-wife Jennifer Beyer who is a nurse by profession. Beyer found that she had been lying and eventually told the show's producers about her cooked-up stories. "I didn’t walk around thinking that I have this secret and that I was going to get caught. I didn't stand there on my wedding day thinking, ‘S**t, I haven’t told her this’ because it was buried so far down.", Finch told The Ankler.

Among other lies Finch included her being close friends with one of the anti-Semitic mass shooting victims from an incident that took place in 2018 in a Pittsburgh synagogue when she asked the show's bosses for time off and another lie including her being given access to a crime scene by the FBI for the purpose of collecting her friend's remains.

When her lies were caught, she resigned from the show and for six weeks she was at the trauma center where she first met her ex-wife. The writer claims that her exaggerated lies are outcomes of her PTSD, depression, anxiety, and 'childhood abuse', reports The Ankler.

Finch who started working for the medical drama in 2014 has not been active in her writing profession since the truth about her lies broke out and she now looks forward to getting back to the TV industry and 'dreams' to work for the American dystopian series 'The Handmaid's Tale'.