'Grey’s Anatomy' writer admits lying about cancer after shaving head to convince colleagues

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By Asiya Ali

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A Grey’s Anatomy writer has confessed to fabricating multiple stories about her medical history across a decade, including pretending to have cancer.

In 2012, Elisabeth Finch, who joined the hit TV series as a writer in season 11, claimed that she had been diagnosed with chondrosarcoma - a rare type of cancer that usually begins in the bones - after doctors found a tumor.

To fabricate the story further, the 44-year-old said that the tumor had advanced to her spine and that chemotherapy treatment wasn’t working.

In addition to this, Finch desperately wanted to convince her coworkers of her harrowing claims and went to increasing lengths to make her tales appear genuine.

Finch told her colleagues she was undergoing treatment and even shaved her head to mimic the hair loss commonly associated with chemotherapy, even restricting how much food she ate in order to appear pale and unwell.

According to the Metro, Finch was placed on a leave of absence from Shonda Rhimes' show in March, while HR investigated the shocking allegations about her debilitating health crisis.

The screenwriter - who used her supposed medical problems as inspiration for several storylines on the show - has now admitted in a bombshell interview with the Ankler that she "never had any form of cancer".

"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," she said. "What I did was wrong. Not okay. F****d up. All the words."

What started as a genuine knee injury in 2007 quickly spread into a massive falsehood. The "context" of the lie, she said, began with an obsession with the care she received after her hiking accident.

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Finch had used her imagined health battle as inspiration in her job as a writer for Grey's Anatomy. Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy

"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," Finch explained.

After the writer broke the fraudulent news to her friends and colleagues, she went on to publish several personal essays about her tale in Elle - stories that have since been removed, per The New York Post.

Finch told the Ankler that she chose the specific rare form of cancer due to its difficulty to treat. At the time she spun her first fib, she also claimed that she lost a kidney and part of her leg - hence, the knee replacement.

"I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did," she admitted. "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 said.

"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," she explained.

In addition to the cancer lie, Finch also allegedly fibbed that her brother Eric had died by suicide, however, he was seen alive in Florida where he works as a doctor.

She also claimed that she had a friend that was one of the 11 people killed in a 2018 terrorist shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, but that was also false, per Metro.

Due to all this, Finch's colleagues grew increasingly distrustful of her and her supposed unfortunate incidents - such as claiming that she was being stalked by a Gulf War veteran who allegedly slashed her tires and knifed her apartment door.

She also claimed that a man masturbated in front of her during a road rage incident and that she was getting antisemitic posters through her door. However, Finch has insisted that all these stories were true.

Featured image credit: Photo 12 / Alamy

'Grey’s Anatomy' writer admits lying about cancer after shaving head to convince colleagues

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A Grey’s Anatomy writer has confessed to fabricating multiple stories about her medical history across a decade, including pretending to have cancer.

In 2012, Elisabeth Finch, who joined the hit TV series as a writer in season 11, claimed that she had been diagnosed with chondrosarcoma - a rare type of cancer that usually begins in the bones - after doctors found a tumor.

To fabricate the story further, the 44-year-old said that the tumor had advanced to her spine and that chemotherapy treatment wasn’t working.

In addition to this, Finch desperately wanted to convince her coworkers of her harrowing claims and went to increasing lengths to make her tales appear genuine.

Finch told her colleagues she was undergoing treatment and even shaved her head to mimic the hair loss commonly associated with chemotherapy, even restricting how much food she ate in order to appear pale and unwell.

According to the Metro, Finch was placed on a leave of absence from Shonda Rhimes' show in March, while HR investigated the shocking allegations about her debilitating health crisis.

The screenwriter - who used her supposed medical problems as inspiration for several storylines on the show - has now admitted in a bombshell interview with the Ankler that she "never had any form of cancer".

"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," she said. "What I did was wrong. Not okay. F****d up. All the words."

What started as a genuine knee injury in 2007 quickly spread into a massive falsehood. The "context" of the lie, she said, began with an obsession with the care she received after her hiking accident.

wp-image-1263182768 size-full
Finch had used her imagined health battle as inspiration in her job as a writer for Grey's Anatomy. Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy

"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," Finch explained.

After the writer broke the fraudulent news to her friends and colleagues, she went on to publish several personal essays about her tale in Elle - stories that have since been removed, per The New York Post.

Finch told the Ankler that she chose the specific rare form of cancer due to its difficulty to treat. At the time she spun her first fib, she also claimed that she lost a kidney and part of her leg - hence, the knee replacement.

"I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did," she admitted. "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 said.

"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," she explained.

In addition to the cancer lie, Finch also allegedly fibbed that her brother Eric had died by suicide, however, he was seen alive in Florida where he works as a doctor.

She also claimed that she had a friend that was one of the 11 people killed in a 2018 terrorist shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, but that was also false, per Metro.

Due to all this, Finch's colleagues grew increasingly distrustful of her and her supposed unfortunate incidents - such as claiming that she was being stalked by a Gulf War veteran who allegedly slashed her tires and knifed her apartment door.

She also claimed that a man masturbated in front of her during a road rage incident and that she was getting antisemitic posters through her door. However, Finch has insisted that all these stories were true.

Featured image credit: Photo 12 / Alamy