The “Grey’s Anatomy” Writer Who Faked Cancer Finally Admitted To Faking Cancer

December 8, 2022 / Posted by:

Back in March, the world was introduced to the wild saga of Elisabeth Finch, a writer on Grey’s Anatomy and former writer on True Blood. The Ankler accused 44-year-old Elisabeth (blue hairnet lady in the header pic) of lying about battling a rare type of bone cancer, her brother committing suicide, a kidney loss, and having an abortion during chemotherapy. Elisabeth didn’t just weave her web of lies to friends; she wrote about them in personal essays for Elle, The Hollywood Reporter, and Shonda Rhimes’ website, Shondaland. Some of her tales actually made it into Grey’s Anatomy storylines. After The Ankler’s report, Grey’s put Elisabeth on administrative leave and ABC’s parent company, Disney, announced that they planned to investigate. She resigned before they could and checked herself into an in-patient treatment center in Arizona. Now, nine months later, Elisabeth has finally fessed up to all her bullshit in an interview with The Ankler. Spoiler alert: she did it for the attention.

Elisabeth explains that she got addicted to lying back when she injured herself on a hike during the 2007 Writers Guild strike. Years later, she got knee-replacement surgery. Post-op, Elisabeth was on crutches and grew dependent on her friends (several of whom confirmed this part of her story). When she recovered, and the lovely, lovely attention went away, the lies began:

“What ended up happening is that everyone was so amazing and so wonderful leading up to all the surgeries,” she recalls. “They were so supportive. 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 says. “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.”

In 2012, Elisabeth says she started telling friends and colleagues that doctors had found a tumor on her spine. She claimed it was chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that is unresponsive to chemo. She says she chose that particular cancer because it was difficult to treat. Elisabeth began writing cancer-related essays in Elle, and, obviously, they were complete and utter bullshit. Ten years later, she admits that she never had chondrosarcoma or “any form of cancer”:

“I told a lie when I was 34 years old and it was the biggest mistake of my life,” she said to me at a later meeting. “It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and got buried deeper and deeper inside me.”

Elisabeth says, “What I did was wrong. Not okay. Fucked up. All the words.” The article details how she’d fake cancer while working on Grey’s:

At Shondaland, Finch would nibble saltines, the only food she said she could keep down. Her skin was pale and her head shaved but often cloaked in a scarf. The outline of the (fake) port catheter could be seen under her shirt and she would sometimes rush to the bathroom and feign retching.

In 2019, Elisabeth told her co-workers that her brother, Eric, had died by suicide:

“I’ve been gone bc my brother died by suicide,” she wrote in a note explaining an absence from Grey’s writers’ room. “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,” she wrote.

But that was a lie, too (duh). Eric is still alive and works as a doctor in Florida. But Elisabeth says he physically abused her when they were young, and that trauma is part of the reason she lies:

“Eric was very.…” She pauses. “Even saying his name is hard.” She collects herself. “He was very good at doing things that were terrorizing and physical, but not enough to leave marks. That’s one of the threads that I went through — where’s my evidence? Prove it. Where’s the document? Where’s the scar? Where’s the whatever? As I grew into adulthood I didn’t have [evidence],” she says.

Here are some other lies Elisabeth copped to: losing a close friend at 2018 terrorist attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 people in Pittsburgh (LIE). Getting a medically-necessary abortion during chemo (LIE). As for the rumor that her former True Blood co-worker Anna Paquin was her kidney donor? Elisabeth claims she didn’t start that one (PROBABLY A LIE).

Elisabeth says she doesn’t understand why her story was made so public, and she wants to get her career and friends back. She says her dream show to work on would be The Handmaid’s Tale because she loves “what they’re doing in the world of redemption and what redemption looks like.” So, whaddaya say, Handmaid’s Tale? Those harrowing close-ups of Elisabeth Moss’s face are getting pretty old; why don’t you shake things up by hiring industry pariah Elisabeth Finch? Two EliSabeths: one a Scientologist, one a pathological liar. I smell a sitcom!

Pic: YouTube

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