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Former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ writer says she ‘lied’ about having cancer, brother’s suicide: ‘What I did was wrong’


Former “Grey’s Anatomy” writer and consulting producer, Elisabeth Finch, has admitted to fabricating multiple stories about her medical history and personal life nine months after resigning from the hit television show.

Finch, 44, shared in an interview with The Ankler that “the biggest mistake of my life” was lying on the award-winning show.

“What I did was wrong,” she shared. “Not okay. F—ed up. All the words.”

Representatives for “Grey’s Anatomy” and Finch did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.


Krista Vernoff and Elisabeth Finch in the “Silent All These Years” episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
(Mitch Haaseth/Disney General Entertainment Content)

The show’s former writer shared with the outlet that she “never had any form of cancer” after previously claiming she had chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Finch alleged that due to her cancer diagnosis, she lost a portion of her leg, as well as a kidney. She also told former colleagues she had to get an abortion due to her chemotherapy treatments.


Finch also admitted to lying about her older brother, Eric’s, suicide while working on the acclaimed show. According to WebMD, Eric is a licensed pediatrician working in Florida.

“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” Finch continued to the outlet. 

“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. 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.”

Elisabeth Finch speaking to Sarah Drew during an episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

Elisabeth Finch speaking to Sarah Drew during an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
(Getty Images)

She shared that the trauma that caused her to begin lying was a knee injury in 2007.

“Everyone was so amazing and so wonderful leading up to all the surgeries. They were so supportive,” Finch said. “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.'”

She continued: “But it was dead quiet. 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 clarified to the outlet that once her lies went public, she resigned from “Grey’s Anatomy” and checked herself into a facility in Arizona.

Finch joined the acclaimed drama in 2014.

Finch joined the acclaimed drama in 2014.
(Photo by Frank Ockenfels/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

According to the former producer, ABC Studios launched an investigation into the fabrication after her resignation. Once the allegations went public in March, Finch’s life completely changed.

She shared that her wife left her and her family disowned her.

“I wish I had a grid that would show who’s not talking to me because they can’t [legally],” Finch 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.”

Finch began working on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2014. She appeared in a 2015 episode titled, “Silent All These Years,” where she took on the role of Nurse Elisabeth. The specific episode was written by Finch and centered around a sexual assault victim.

In 2018, Finch shared that Catherine Fox’s storyline – portrayed by Debbie Allen – was inspired by her own cancer battle.

The cast of "Grey's Anatomy" in the episode "Six Days."

The cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” in the episode “Six Days.”
(Michael Desmond/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

“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 told ELLE magazine at the time.

“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,” she 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.”

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

Source: Fox News