Elisabeth Finch left "Grey's Anatomy" in March 2022 after questions arose about her medical history.
Reports earlier that month said Finch faked cancer, a kidney transplant, and PTSD.
Finch has written personal essays about her cancer for publications such as The Hollywood Reporter.
"Grey's Anatomy" writer Elisabeth Finch was reportedly placed on "administrative leave" following "serious concerns" within Shonda Rhimes' production company Shondaland that "parts of Finch's life story she shared in the writers' room and with the press were made up," the entertainment newsletter The Ankler wrote earlier this year.
According to The Ankler and personal essays Finch had published with publications such as Shondaland.com and The Hollywood Reporter, Finch had survived cancer, lost a kidney and part of a leg, and had to abort a fetus while undergoing chemotherapy.
Finch's lawyer, Andrew Brettler, told Insider in a statement that she was never placed on leave. Yet two weeks after the initial report that Disney was expected to begin an internal investigation into the claims of Finch's faked ailments, the writer took a leave of absence.
"I will always remain one of 'Grey's Anatomy's biggest fans. I loved the show from day one and had the honor to write for it since season 11," Finch said in part in a statement to Insider, sent by her lawyer in April.
"'Grey's Anatomy' is one big-hearted, brilliant family, " it continued. "As hard as it is to take some time away right now, I know it is more important that I focus on my own family and my health."
When reached for comment by Insider in April, Shondaland, which produces "Grey's Anatomy," said in a statement, "Only Elisabeth can speak to her personal story." ABC declined to comment in April when reached by Insider.
It reads like the end of the story, but it's just the beginning. Because on May 2, the world got to read Finch's estranged wife's side of the story in Vanity Fair, and it's stranger than the fiction Finch wrote on TV.
Brettler told Vanity Fair that some of Beyer's claims are untrue. He told the magazine Beyer was "neither 'reliable' nor 'unbiased'" since Finch and Beyer are currently going through a "highly contentious divorce," according to Brettler.
Shondaland did not have further comment when reached in May after the release of the Vanity Fair articles, and ABC didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment in May.
Here's everything we know about the latest scandal surrounding "Grey's Anatomy."
Finch became a writer and producer on 'Grey's Anatomy' in 2014 for season 11
According to Vanity Fair, Finch caught Shondaland's attention in 2014 because of a now-deleted essay she wrote for Elle about living and working with chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that is usually fatal.
Finch wrote in the essay that she continued working on the set of "The Vampire Diaries," a show that follows the dangerous lives and complicated romances of vampires and other supernatural creatures, against a doctor's advice after her diagnosis.
"I watched the producers' cuts under a fog of Demerol, punched up dialogue about vampire-werewolf hybrids with a shunt in my spine," her essay read, per Vanity Fair. "Yes, I was down 17 pounds, bald, vomiting relentlessly, but I was still living alone. Still stubborn as hell."
A development executive at Shondaland noticed the essay and showed it to the then-showrunner of "Grey's Anatomy" as a potential hire for the ABC medical drama's eleventh season. Finch later met with Rhimes herself, who then hired Finch, according to Vanity Fair. Since joining the show as a writer in 2014, Finch has produced 172 episodes of the hit ABC series and has a writing credit on 13 of them.
She's credited with writing "Anybody Have A Map?," a 2018 "Grey's Anatomy" episode that features Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen) having an operation to treat her aggressive chondrosarcoma. Finch is also the writer of "Silent All These Years," a 2019 episode featuring rape survivors that got a lot of press attention.
Vanity Fair reported that in February 2022, Finch's estranged wife, Jennifer Beyer, sent an email to Rhimes' personal email account, warning the acclaimed showrunner that Finch was faking her story. Rhimes didn't respond to the message, according to Beyer, so she said she texted the current "Grey's Anatomy" showrunner, Krista Vernoff, and was soon contacted by Disney's human resources department.
This seemingly marked the beginning of the end of Finch's time working on "Grey's Anatomy."
According to Vanity Fair, Finch first began speaking about her cancer diagnosis when she was working on 'The Vampire Diaries'
Vanity Fair spoke to some of Finch's family members, who said she began to tell them she had cancer around the time she was working on "The Vampire Diaries." Finch, who grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, told relatives that doctors discovered her bone cancer after an alleged knee replacement surgery.
"It was devastating," an unnamed cousin, who lives in New Jersey, told the magazine of learning the news.
According to Vanity Fair, the cousin said a bald Finch would sometimes visit from Los Angeles while supposedly undergoing chemotherapy, looking "sick." Finch also had a bandage on her body where a chemo port would be, according to her cousin.
In part two of Vanity Fair's report, Beyer, who's also a nurse, told the magazine that Finch doesn't have a port scar. She also said Finch had full eyelashes and eyebrows, which is strange because chemo patients lose hair.
Finch still said she had cancer in 2014 when she got the job on "Grey's Anatomy." Other staffers on the show told Vanity Fair that Finch's diagnosis afforded her privileges at work, like extra time to write episodes. She also took time off to supposedly make visits to the Mayo Clinic for cancer treatment. Friends said that even though they drove her there, she never wanted them to come inside.
There were two other cancer survivors in the "Grey's Anatomy" writers' room, but an unnamed writer told Vanity Fair that those people stopped feeling comfortable talking about their cancer experiences because Finch would always become emotional during those conversations if anyone questioned or contradicted her.
Vanity Fair reported that when confronted by a suspicious Beyer toward the end of their relationship, "Finch 'admitted' that she had at one time had cancer, but that she got chemo, and recovered."
Finch's story of abuse mirrors her estranged wife's
Beyer and Finch met at a treatment facility in Topeka, Kansas, in 2019, Vanity Fair reported. Beyer told writer Evgenia Peretz she was there to treat the psychological symptoms of an abusive marriage.
Finch entered the center about six months into Beyer's stay under the pseudonym "Jo," the same name of the "Grey's Anatomy" character she was researching for a storyline. She told residents she was also there to treat PTSD, according to the magazine.
The women became close and therapists allowed them to room together even though they were in the same process group, according to Beyer. Soon, Finch's abuse story began to mirror Beyer's.
When Beyer's husband threatened to come and find her, with the facility increasing security as a result, suddenly Finch said her brother Eric (whom she said abused her as a child) was threatening to find her, too. Beyer said she saw a letter Finch said Eric wrote but didn't read it herself.
After treatment, Finch and Beyer's relationship deepened thanks to visits with each other. On one of Beyer's trips to Los Angeles, she got a call from the Kansas Department of Children and Families informing her that her husband had committed suicide, Beyer told Vanity Fair.
According to Vanity Fair, two weeks later, without Beyer's knowledge, Finch sent an email to her "Grey's Anatomy" coworkers.
"I've gone bc my brother died by suicide. He was on life support for a short while but ultimately did not survive," it read, according to the publication. "I say this not bc 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."
However, Finch's brother is still alive and currently works as a doctor, per Vanity Fair. He declined to comment when reached by Vanity Fair regarding their report on Finch. Insider reached out to Eric but didn't get a response.
Finch once said she cleaned up a friend's remains from the floor of a synagogue after a mass shooting
Vanity Fair reported that Finch, who grew up in a middle-class Jewish family, had tweeted about being the victim of a hate crime and also once told coworkers and family she suffered PTSD related to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, during which 11 people were killed.
Finch, who went to college in Pittsburgh, told people, including Beyer, that one of her friends died in the attack. She said she went to the site of the tragedy in the aftermath to help "clean up the remains of her friend's body from the synagogue floor," the article reported, in accordance with Jewish tradition.
"Grey's Anatomy" writers told Vanity Fair that they had to be even more mindful of what they said around Finch after the shooting because even phrases like "shot down" would cause her to wince "dramatically."
Finch said her experience at the shooting site caused her alleged PTSD, which is why she went on leave and sought treatment at the center in Topeka, where she met Beyer.
Vanity Fair contacted the two Chevra Kadisha burial societies that coordinated cleaning up the synagogue and found that "nobody named Elisabeth Finch was involved." When Insider reached out to New Community Chevra Kadisha in May, a coordinator said that only men were present from their organization while the second burial society, Pittsburgh's Orthodox chevra kadisha, did not immediately respond.
Finch said that Anna Paquin gave her a kidney
One of Finch's first jobs in Hollywood was acting as an assistant to Alan Ball, the creator of "True Blood."
So, when she said she was diagnosed with a rare cancer that caused other alleged health issues like kidney failure, Finch told her friend Anna Paquin, the star of HBO's hit vampire series that ran from 2008 to 2014.
According to Finch, Paquin donated a kidney to her.
Vanity Fair confirmed via an unnamed source that Paquin does not "have anything to do with Finch's kidneys." Representatives for Paquin didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
"Two hospital hangouts. Nearly two weeks of hell. But FINNNALLLLY…One happy, healthy kidney. Thanks for all the [heart emoji]," she wrote on Facebook, according to Vanity Fair.
Later when they were engaged, Beyer told VF that Finch went to the hospital with pain that she said was "probably kidney stones" in her one good kidney. "Looking squarely at Beyer, the doctor said, 'Her kidneys look fine,' stressing the plural," the magazine added of the experience.
Finch's future on the show remains in question
"Grey's Anatomy" was renewed for a historic season 19 back in January.
Finch remains on personal leave as of May, and her future on the show remains unknown.
The last writing credit she has on the show is for season 17 episode 14 titled "Look Up Child" in which Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) visits his father Robert (Eric Roberts) and his ex-wife April Kepner (Sarah Drew) to get clarity about his future before moving to Boston with April and their daughter Harriet.
Read the original article on Insider
A 'Grey's Anatomy' writer recently left the show after allegedly faking cancer. Here's everything we know about the scandal. ›
Reports earlier that month said Finch faked cancer, a kidney transplant, and PTSD.. When reached for comment by Insider in April, Shondaland, which produces "Grey's Anatomy," said in a statement, "Only Elisabeth can speak to her personal story.". ABC declined to comment in April when reached by Insider.. Finch on set of "Grey's Anatomy.". In part two of Vanity Fair's report , Beyer, who's also a nurse, told the magazine that Finch doesn't have a port scar.. Vanity Fair reported that when confronted by a suspicious Beyer toward the end of their relationship, "Finch 'admitted' that she had at one time had cancer, but that she got chemo, and recovered.". Beyer said she saw a letter Finch said Eric wrote but didn't read it herself.. However, Finch's brother is still alive and currently works as a doctor, per Vanity Fair.. She said she went to the site of the tragedy in the aftermath to help "clean up the remains of her friend's body from the synagogue floor," the article reported, in accordance with Jewish tradition.
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Elisabeth Finch allegedly packaged the traumas of others as her own while working in the writers’ room on Grey’s Anatomy.. in 2014 detailing her rare and fatal diagnosis of bone cancer — chondrosarcoma — she was offered a dream job working on the 10th season forFast forward five years and a version of Finch’s story was playing out before our eyes, portrayed by the character Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen).. , it was found that longtime Grey’s writer Elisabeth Finch has been accused of lying to her colleagues about living with a rare form of cancer, as well as other medical and personal traumas that she appropriated as her own.Niamh Donnelly 7th May, 2022 Sally Rooney: her arrival on the literary scene seemed to mark a changing of the guard in Irish fiction.The front doors and windowsills on both of the properties are painted bright green.Late Late Show viewers all say same thing after Sharon Shannon's performance Both women were viciously murdered by men with whom they were or had been in a relationship.. So, when Elisabeth Finch wrote a personal essay for Elle in 2014 detailing her rare and fatal diagnosis of bone cancer — chondrosarcoma — she was offered a dream job working on the 10th season for Grey’s Anatomy .. Finch’s alleged penchant for falsehoods was brought to the Shondaland creator, Shonda Rhimes, by “a struggling mother of five from Kansas and a registered nurse who had married Finch in 2020 though they were by now estranged,” Jennifer Beyer.. Beyer has said that as the pair grew closer, Finch’s trauma became less about the shooting of a friend, and more about abuse suffered at the hands of her as a child, drawing a parallel with Beyer’s experience.. According to the VF report, Finch reportedly told her colleagues that the violence Beyer received at the hands of her husband, who later died by suicide, had actually been harm done to Finch by her brother, also claiming that he had taken his own life.
A ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ writer is reportedly under investigation for allegedly embellishing her history with serious medical issues. According to “The Ankler,” the episode was based on a personal experience Finch had while on a Writers Guild of America West–organized tour of the UCLA Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica.. 'Grey's Anatomy' writer suspended after allegedly fabricating medical history A “Grey’s Anatomy” writer who has been accused of fabricating parts of her medical history in the writers’ room of the long-running ABC drama as well as in personal essays has been placed on administrative leave pending review.. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer Elisabeth Finch Placed On Administrative Leave Amid Investigation Grey’s Anatomy consulting producer Elisabeth Finch has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation that she may have fudged details about her medical and personal history whil… Gotta say...as someone with a visible disability in the industry competing with 'hidden disabilities' that some 'chose not to disclose'.. Wow at this comment.. Her wife called HR to get her fired?. I don't know anyone who has watched.. She also that she had been the victim of verbal and sexual abuse from a male director on The Vampire Diaries Finch has written more than a dozen episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, including the 2015 standout episode “Silent All These Years,” which was about a rape victim.. “The Ankler” reached out to Beyer for comment and she said the following: “I’m currently trying to get divorced.. I’m in a lot of pain.” When asked about Finch’s alleged medical embellishments, Beyer paused and responded, “I’m going to let you go now.” On “Grey’s Anatomy,” her notable episodes include writing the Season 15 episode “Silent All These Years” in 2019; Finch appeared in that episode.” A source close to the show told “The Ankler” that Beyer had called executives at Shondaland and Disney to alert them of Finch’s alleged deceptions.. In his email to “The Ankler,” Brettler wrote that Finch “will not speak about her pending divorce from her estranged wife, Jennifer (Beyer), or comment on any statements that Jennifer may have made to third parties about Ms.. Finch.” “There was so much craziness in her life and she was so cryptic and private and it was always like, what is the story here?
Finch, who wrote tonight's episode and the fall episode "Anybody Have a Map?," modeled Catherine Fox's ( Debbie Allen ) cancer journey after her own, writing her own experiences into the show and then watching them play out on set and on screen in front of her.. While Finch admits writing herself into the badass Catherine Fox is a bit of "wish fulfillment," most of Catherine's journey so far matches hers pretty closely, especially in terms of the surgery and the result.. But some of it remains and may always remain, and that's true of Catherine as well, so Catherine will be walking in the world as a person living with cancer in a similar way that I do.. Finch says she really wanted to say no when showrunner Krista Vernoff asked if she would write her own cancer experiences into the show, but the request came after Finch's own complaints in the writers' room about the way cancer is typically dealt with.. So it was a plan from the beginning to give Catherine a diagnosis and then to have a big surgery and then to have the outcome of that surgery [be], we got most of it and then you're going to have to live with a little bit that's left behind.. While Finch says she's not the badass outspoken woman that Catherine is, she is a planner the same way Catherine is, and a little bit of a control freak like Catherine.. Finch said she wanted to be able to show another side to cancer, completely different to Catherine's and her own.. Leave it to Grey's Anatomy to hit us where it hurts on every level, in real life and on screen, with a little bit of life and a little bit of death at the same time.
After three seasons as Addison Montgomery, Kate Walsh left Grey's Anatomy to lead spin-off show Private Practice , appearing on that show for all of its six seasons and making guest appearances on Grey's until season eight.. The exit of Kim Raver's Teddy Altman in the season-eight finale surprised everyone, but it was just because Raver's contract was up and "she was ready to give Teddy Altman a much-needed vacation", according to Shonda Rhimes .. Having been on the show since the beginning, Sandra Oh exited at the end of season ten and it was entirely her decision .. McDreamy's death in season 11 shocked fans, especially as Patrick Dempsey had signed on for season 12.. However, he just felt it was the time to leave and thinks he probably should have left earlier .. Meredith Grey's first major post-McDreamy love interest was Martin Henderson's Nathan Riggs, but he knew all along that he would only be on the show for a little while .