In 2018, Elisabeth Finch threw a 40th birthday party that her friends would never forget. As star writer/producer on the long-running ABC series Grey’s Anatomy, she flew high, renting a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, hiring DJs and lavish catering, and beaming at the presentation of a sparkler-adorned cake to which the one participant recalled “tremendous.”
The celebration marked the remission of her life-threatening cancer as well as a milestone birthday. Old friends, new friends and industry friends all danced and mingled.
“Finchie announced that her doctors from the Mayo Clinic were there, but they don’t want to be identified,” recalled the participant. “We all wondered who the doctors are.
“Of course there were no doctors… This is not a lie that got out of hand [as Finch has claimed]. It’s a lie that perpetuated their story and made the party better.”
Last week, Finch finally clarified her Emmy-worthy string of untruths to The Ankler, saying, “I’ve never had any form of cancer.
“I lied when I was 34 and it was the biggest mistake of my life. It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and buried itself deeper and deeper inside me,” she continued.
In March it was revealed that Finch had been furloughed from Grey’s Anatomy and was being investigated by the human resources department at Disney, ABC’s parent company. She later said goodbye to the show in person.
The whoppers – including a lost kidney and a friend killed in the 2018 terrorist attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue – are stunning. She claimed her brother committed suicide in 2019; In fact, he is a practicing doctor in Florida.
Finch told people she was being persecuted and that an anti-Semitic poster had been left on her door.
But the centerpiece was Finch’s 10-year history of suffering from chondrosarcoma, a rare form of cancer — she even went so far as to say the condition caused her to have to abort a fetus. She allegedly used the big story to manipulate friends, gain sympathy from employers and further her writing career. Many of her medical issues influenced the storylines of Grey’s Anatomy, and Finch wrote several published essays about her experiences.
“Your lies are so detailed and so profound. She built her career on this lie and made millions of dollars from it. And she didn’t care who got dragged into it,” an “amazed” former friend told the Post.
“Finch is extremely smart and extremely talented. She was able to weave their complex stories together and keep everything clear.”
Barbara Wiener, a documentary filmmaker close to people in Finch’s inner circle, said the whole thing was viewed as a betrayal. “My friends feel taken advantage of,” Wiener told the Post. “They had given Finchie a lot of emotional space. Now they are hurt and betrayed.”
Finch has attributed the long-running lies to a “maladaptive coping mechanism” that kicked in after a knee injury in 2007. Friends went out of their way to help her at the time, but as the knee healed and people moved on, Finch missed the attention. The blown cancer story was her way of getting it back.
And Finch went all in.
“She had spoken out about her hair thinning,” Brenda Cox, a friend of Finch’s now-estranged wife, Jennifer Beyer, told The Post. “She helped me clean something that was a bit gross. I said I felt bad that she did it. She said she doesn’t mind because she has no sense of smell [due to alleged chemotherapy].”
The former boyfriend even believes Finch wore makeup to appear to be ill.
Finch has admitted to keeping her skin pale and her head shaved, wearing a fake catheter port and pretending to throw up in communal bathrooms.
Before all hell broke loose, “you were lucky to have Finch in your life,” the former boyfriend added. “She was loyal and gave. She took people on lavish vacations, bought dinners, paid for expensive hotels, and really did anything for people.”
Now the former friend said: “People are either deeply hurt and feel like shit; or they are angry about being lied to by someone they trust. We feel like we supported her in an extreme way for something that wasn’t real.”
And supporting Finch wasn’t coincidental. A buddy in Minneapolis drove her to the Mayo Clinic for cancer treatment, but according to Knler, Finch actually roamed the halls of the medical facility, killing time while the buddy waited in the parking lot.
The former girlfriend recalls a grueling community effort for Finch, when a circle of people banded together to create monthly care packages for her.
“The care packages were themed, which Finch loved,” the former boyfriend said. “One was themed with ‘Friday Night Lights’. There were photos of people holding signs related to the show. We also include gift cards and meal vouchers from local restaurants. It was everything you would give to a friend who is ill and feeling down.”
The hurt feelings aren’t from wasted money, the former boyfriend said. “Nobody cares about the money. We give a shit about the completely untrue life of someone we thought we knew and loved. Turns out she was ill — but not in the way we thought.”
The pain is evident even in people who feel too hurt to talk about it.
“It’s too much. It’s too painful. I just want it all to go away,” said a Hollywood actor close to Finch.
“I really don’t want to talk about Finchie. Everything that was said is true,” said another ex-boyfriend.
But cracks in her story began to show. “Things just didn’t add up anymore,” Wiener said. “It would be cancer at one point if treatment goes well; then cancer elsewhere, the treatment of which is going badly. The fact that close friends weren’t allowed to attend her treatment was odd.
“You don’t expect someone to lie about cancer,” the former boyfriend continued. “But you can’t accuse them of lying. You would be the worst person in the world.”
Other things also raise questions. “I thought things were getting out of hand with the situation at the Tree of Life synagogue. Okay, she could have gone to the synagogue there [as a college student] and didn’t tell me. That’s believable enough,” the former boyfriend said. “But then she said that her friend died in the attack. She then claimed she flew to Pittsburgh and was allowed into the synagogue to remove her friend’s remains. She really walked into an active crime scene? That was a lot to deal with.”
By her own account, things really started to unravel for Finch in 2019, when she entered an Arizona medical center that specializes in treating mental trauma. There she met her fellow patient Beyer, a qualified nurse. They fell in love and married soon after, and Beyer urged Finch to confess her lies. According to The Ankel, when Finch hesitated, Beyer did it for her.
Finch and Beyer are now in the divorce process.
Asked for comment, Finch’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, referred the Post to The Kneller’s story: “Elisabeth said it all. Nothing more from us.” The Post also contacted Beyer separately and received no reply.
But some believe Finch is still lying.
“The article in The Ankler continues to ring untrue. It sounds like she thinks everyone got together and decided to let her out. It wasn’t a group decision,” the former friend said. “She’s trying to gain sympathy by blaming others for what happened. In fact, no one believes she told a lie that got out of control. Everyone thinks it was intentional.”
As for what might be next for Finch, she told The Kneller that she hopes to get back to writing for Hollywood.
“We think she’s trying to get a book deal. She’s a writer and she has to survive,” the former girlfriend said. “I can’t see her in the writer’s room for another TV show. The stench on her is extreme.”
https://nypost.com/2022/12/12/elisabeth-finchs-pals-reveal-lies-by-greys-anatomy-writer/ Elisabeth Finch’s Friends Expose Grey’s Anatomy Author’s Lies