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Grey's Anatomy writer admits she lied about abortion, cancer diagnosis, brother’s suicide, calls it ‘coping mechanism’

"If I took my cancer medication, the fetus likely wouldn't survive. And if I stopped taking my cancer medication, I wouldn't survive. I knew the only way to stay alive was to have an abortion."

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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Television writer Elisabeth Finch, who worked as a staff writer for shows such as "True Blood" and the "Vampire Diaries" before staffing the ABC hospital drama "Grey's Anatomy" as a writer and producer, confessed in a recent interview that she lied about many facets of her life's story, including that she had cancer, had a brother who committed suicide, and had an abortion—which she said during a pro-abortion rant in a 2018 Now This video protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

According to The Ankler, "by fabricating and dramatizing huge swaths of her life story," Finch "made fools of Shonda Rhimes, the town’s most powerful TV producer, and Disney, the most family-friendly maker and distributor of TV in the world."

Finch had fabricated her backstory and started telling pervasive lies during the Writers Strike of 2007, which the outlet described as the "inciting incident" for her mythomania, or habitual lying. In that year she injured her knee during a hike which resulted in knee replacement surgery.

"What ended up happening is that everyone was so amazing and so wonderful leading up to all the surgeries," Finch said. "They were so supportive. And then I got my knee replacement. It was one hell of a recovery period and then it was dead quiet because everyone naturally was like 'Yay! You’re healed.'"

"I know it’s absolutely wrong what I did," Finch 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." She claimed that she had a "maladaptive coping mechanism" due to emotional and physical abuse from an older sibling that she never processed.

Her lies continued and by 2012 she was telling co-workers that she was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. She lied and said the illness caused her to lose a kidney and a section of her tibia, which was really just the scar from the knee surgery.

When she would report to work at the "Grey's Anatomy" set she would arrive with a dummy catheter taped to her arm and a shaved head that she claimed was balding due to chemotherapy.

"When you get wrapped up in a lie you forget who you told — what you said to this person and whether this person knows that thing — and that’s the world where you can get caught," Finch told The Ankler. "I don’t have to worry about that now."

She cataloged her supposed fight with cancer in now-deleted essays that were published by the magazine Elle. 

She made a pro-abortion video for Now This during Justice Kavanaugh's appointment and said, "All told my cancer cost me my hair, my immune system, one knee, half my bank account, half my 30s and one functioning kidney. I may never be cancer free. My doctors told me my cancer and chemoradiation rendered me sterile. They assured me I could never would never get pregnant. They were wrong," she said. "If I took my cancer medication, the fetus likely wouldn't survive. And if I stopped taking my cancer medication, I wouldn't survive. I knew the only way to stay alive was to have an abortion."

She continued, "It wasn't a decision I took lightly but it was the right choice for me. The only choice for me if Kavanaugh were on the Supreme Court when I got pregnant, what choice would I have had?"

She did not have cancer and admitted to The Ankler she did not have an abortion.

Shonda Rhimes even started using her backstory in the show, making the character Dr. Catherine Avery, as played by Debbie Allen, an avatar for Finch's supposed struggles.

In March, the Ankler broke the story that Finch was a fabulist and fabricated her biography.

She also lied about her older brother committing suicide to take some time off from work.

"I’ve been gone bc my brother died by suicide," she wrote in 2019 while taking a leave from the show. "He was on life support for a short while but ultimately did not survive. I say this not because 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."

Her brother, while estranged, lives in Florida and works as a doctor

"I really miss it. I miss my fellow writers, It’s like a family," Finch said, later adding that she hopes she will get hired to write for television again.

"I could only hope that the work that I've done will allow me back into those relationships," she said.

She resigned from "Grey's Anatomy" and sought treatment for her trauma before Disney began its investigation into the veracity of the Ankler's reporting, which Finch confessed is all true.

According to The Ankler, two Vanity Fair pieces titled "Scene Stealer: The True Lies of Elisabeth Finch," Parts 1 and 2, were published in May without her input or permission and document how Finch's lies contributed to the breakup of her marriage with Jennifer Beyer, who was the whistleblower in outing Finch to everyone.

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