The writer of the long-running drama Grey’s Anatomy has admitted to an elaborate medical ploy following allegations made earlier this year.
In a b*mbshell interview with AnclairElizabeth Finch, 44, said: “I have never had c*ncer.
“I lied when I was 34 and it was the biggest mistake of my life,” she said. “It got bigger and bigger and more and more sank deeper and deeper into me.”
Multiple storylines for the US medical drama she later retired from at willwere based on Finch’s alleged life experiences, which she now admitted were completely fabricated.
“What I did was wrong. Not normal. Fed up with. All the words,” said the writer, who first began working on the hit in 2015.
What began as a real knee injury in 2007 after a hiking accident, she says, quickly turned into a complex web of lies, beginning with an addiction to intensive care she received while recovering from surgery.
She explained that when the special treatment ended, her lie began “in that silence.”
She also said that the childhood abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother, blaming him for “terrorizing” her but not enough to leave a mark, meant that she had reverted to the old lie coping mechanism to to draw attention.
“I had no support and went back to my old maladaptive coping mechanism,” she said. “I lied and made something up because I needed support and attention, and that’s exactly what I did.”
This led Finch to tell friends and colleagues in 2012 that doctors allegedly found he had a tumor.
She claimed that a rare malignant tumor invaded her spine and did not respond to chemotherapy. Finch has published several personal essays in El magazine about her heartbreaking story, stories that have since been deleted.
According to her, she chose a specific type of c*ncer – chondrosarcoma – because of the complexity of its treatment. Anclair. At the time she told her first lie, she also claimed to have lost a kidney and part of her leg, hence the knee replacement.
“I know what I did is absolutely wrong,” she said in an interview. “I lied and there is no excuse for that. But there is context for this. The best way I can explain this is that when you are experiencing a trauma level, many people use a maladaptive coping mechanism. Some people drink to hide or forget something. Addicts try to change their reality. Some people cut. I lied. It was my way out and my way of feeling safe, being seen and heard.”
But the lies didn’t stop there.
In 2018, she said she had an ab*rtion due to her c*ncer diagnosis, making a video for NowThis as political tensions around reproductive freedoms rose.
Finch also claimed that her brother committed suic*de in 2019. Instead, he is alive and well and works as a doctor in Florida.
“I was unaware of the connective tissue between my brother and my medical trauma, my depression, PTSD and anxiety,” she said, claiming to have met with several therapists in an attempt to make a diagnosis. Despite desperate attempts to brand her with a personality disorder, she said professionals chalked it up to an injury.
“A classic case of artificial disorder”
Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama, Dr. Mark Feldman, spoke with Anclair about the case.
Although he did not meet the screenwriter, looking at her story, he said it was “a classic case of artificial disorder,” also known as Munchausen’s syndrome.
“The main reason people seem to do this is because they have an underlying personality disorder or find it difficult to meet their needs that are not self-defeating,” he said. “Instead of asking for attention or care, they behave pathologically, which allows them to indirectly get what they want.”
Because of her lies, Finch ate saltine crackers, claiming it was all she could stomach while keeping her skin pale and shaving off her hair. She went as far as attaching a fake port catheter to herself and pretending to vomit in the bathroom.
“There were always some tragedies or strange hardships in her life,” an unnamed colleague said. “Things that don’t happen to other people happen to her all the time.”
These include Finch’s claims at various times that she was harassed, her car tires were slashed, antisemitic posters were stuffed under her door, and a man exposed himself in front of her while masturbating.
Finch insisted on Anclair that these things actually happened.
Just this March, after more than a decade of elaborate deception, Finch’s lies have been exposed. Sources said her stories, which were too good to be true, were actually just that.
Doubts about Finch’s claims first arose when a colleague called Finch’s wife, Jennifer Beyer, and remarked that Ms Beyer’s own illnesses and incidents bore a striking resemblance to the stories they had heard from Finch.
When Ms. Beyer met with both Grey’s Anatomy production company Shondaland and Disney, which owns the ABC network, questioned Finch’s claims about her health problems.
“When you get caught up in a lie, you forget who you told it to,” Finch said. Anclair, “what did you say to this person and whether this person knows this thing. And that’s a world you can get caught in.”
Now that her paranoia has dissipated, she says, all that remains for Finch is to clean up the mess.
“I could only hope that the work I’ve done will allow me to get back into a relationship where I can say, ‘OK, I did it, I’ve hurt a lot of people, and I’m also going to work, damn it.’ *horrified* because this is where I want to be and I know what it’s like to lose everything,” she said.
This story originally appeared on Page six and published here with permission
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