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08th Dec 2022

Former Grey’s Anatomy writer says she has “no excuse” for lying about cancer

Sarah McKenna Barry

“I told a lie when I was 34 years old and it was the biggest mistake of my life.”

Elisabeth Finch, who used to write for the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, has admitted to lying about having cancer.

The lies told by Finch were initially exposed in a viral Vanity Fair article (which you can read here), but she has now herself admitted to them.

As the article details, Finch claimed she had bone cancer and lost a kidney due to chemotherapy. What’s more, some of the stories she told were included in the show’s plot lines.

Now, in an interview with The Ankler, she has said that what she did was “wrong”.

She said: “I told a lie when I was 34 years old and it was the biggest mistake of my life… I lied and there’s no excuse for it.”

The writer clarified: “I’ve never had any form of cancer.”

As The Ankler article outlines, Elisabeth didn’t only lie about her medical history, but she lied about her brother dying, when in fact he is still alive today.

In the interview, she explained why she did what she did.

“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.”

Elisabeth explained that she suffered a knee injury in 2007 which required multiple procedures and ultimately a knee-replacement surgery. She received support form her friends and family during that period, but when she was healed, the support stopped and she began lying as a coping mechanism.

She said: “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.”

Elisabeth left Grey’s Anatomy earlier this year.

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