Former “Grey’s Anatomy” writer Elisabeth Finch comes clean about lying about terminal illness
Former “Grey’s Anatomy” writer Elisabeth Finch has come clean about lying about a terminal illness and her brother’s suicide.
Finch, who also served as a consulting producer for the hit ABC medical drama, admitted she “never had any form of cancer” in a new interview with The Ankler.
“What I did was wrong,” she told the website. “Not okay. F—ed up. All the words.”
In a 2014 Elle magazine article, Finch claimed to be diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare and usually fatal form of bone cancer. The story caught the attention of “Grey’s Anatomy” executives, leading Finch to snag a plug gig with the Emmy Award-winning ratings juggernaut.
She then falsely claimed in 2019 that her brother, Eric, died by suicide as she attempted to explain to fellow “Grey’s” writers why she wasn’t at work.
“It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and got buried deeper and deeper inside me,” Finch, 44, told The Ankler.
“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” she continued. “I lied and there’s no excuse for it.”
Finch said there is some “context” for her actions.
“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 explained.
“Some people drink to hide or forget things. Drug addicts try to alter their reality. Some people cut.
“I lied,” Finch said. “That was my coping and my way to feel safe and seen and heard.”
A version of Finch’s cancer tale showed up in a 2018 “Grey’s Anatomy” episode titled, “Anybody Have a Map?” — one of 13 episodes she wrote. Overall, she produced 172 episodes.
Her admission follows a March report by The Ankler that Disney, ABC’s parent company, was investigating Finch’s claims. She resigned from the Shonda Rhimes-created series in the spring after being placed on administrative leave.