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Former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ writer admits she lied about having cancer

<i>Todd Wawrychuk/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images</i><br/>Elisabeth Finch
Disney General Entertainment Con
Todd Wawrychuk/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images
Elisabeth Finch

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Elisabeth Finch, who had served as a writer and consulting producer on ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy,” has given an interview in which she admitted that she lied about her health and personal life.

Talking to The Ankler, Finch said she never had “any form of cancer.”

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

In March The Ankler published a story that the series was looking into concerns that Finch had made up past stories about her life, including having been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer as well as losing a kidney and part of her leg.

“She taped a dummy catheter to her arm and shaved her hair to feign that she was undergoing chemotherapy,” the outlet reported in the follow-up piece published Thursday.

“I really miss it. I miss my fellow writers,” Finch told The Ankler of her former job. “It’s like a family and… one of the things that makes it so hard is that they did rally around a false narrative that I gave.”

Finch resigned from her position and sought in-patient treatment before an investigation by the show began, according to the report.

Finch said she began telling lies during the 2007 Writers Strike after she hurt her knee during a hike.

That 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 said. “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.”

According to The Ankler, Finch also lied to colleagues in 2019 by telling them her brother had died of suicide, when in actuality he is alive and living in Florida.

She told the publication she did feel guilty for the false stories she told, which, she said, have resulted in both the loss of work and some family members disowning her.

“I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did,” she said. “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.”

CNN has reached out to representatives for “Grey’s Anatomy” for comment.

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