Grey’s Anatomy has aired a number of crazy storylines over its 18-plus seasons on the air.
One time, as loyal fans might recall, a prominent character had sex with the ghost of her deceased fiance.
As it turns out, however, the crazy storyline of all actually took place off screen… as former writer and consulting producer Elisabeth Finch now admits that she lied to her friends and colleagues about a few VERY personal details.
Like having cancer, for one shocking thing.
Months after being placed on administrative leave from the long-running ABC medical drama — and then resigning from the gig following a March 17 report by The Ankler newsletter that claimed she may have “fabricated” numerous medical issues from her personal life — Finch has come clean.
And confessed to doing exactly this.
“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 told The Ankler on December 7, adding:
“I’ve never had any form of cancer.”
Over the years, Finch told co-workers and other close to her that she had been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer … while also saying she had lost a kidney and part of her leg.
In 2014, Finch even wrote in an ELLE magazine article how she had chondrosarcoma and was eventually hired by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes to work on the proggram.
Her supposed health battle was even incorporated into a storyline.
HOWEVER, “she taped a dummy catheter to her arm and shaved her hair to feign that she was undergoing chemotherapy,” the aforementioned outlet reported in its stunning follow-up piece published Thursday.
In addition to pretending she had cancer — to such an extent that she would take breaks on set to go off and pretend to vomit — Finch also told colleagues in 2019 that her brother died of suicide, The Ankler reported.
In reality, the outlet writes now, he is alive, and living in Florida.
“What I did was wrong,” Finch said on Thursday. “Not okay. F***ed up. All the words.”
Why the heck did she therefore make up all these lies?
Finch said it all started during 2007 Writers Strike after she hurt her knee during a hike.
This injury resulted in a knee-replacement surgery for which, she said, people were “so supportive.”
“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 explained in her confession.
“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.”
More simply put? Finch craved the attention and the sympathy she had previously received.
“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” she says now.
“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.”
Finch even said she hopes taking accountability at this point can one day help mend some of the broken relationships brought on by her over-the-top lies.
“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 f–king ass off because this is where I want to be and I know what it’s like to lose everything.’”