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Grey’s Anatomy Writer Takes Personal Leave After Possibly Lying About Medical History

Here’s Elisabeth Finch playing a nurse in an ep she wrote (the surgical cap is full of secrets). Photo: Mitch Haaseth/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Update, Thursday, March 31 at 11:28 p.m.: This time, it’s personal. Last we heard, longtime Grey’s Anatomy writer Elisabeth Finch was placed on administrative leave over concerns that she had fabricated details of her personal history, some of which she wrote into the medical drama. Now, per The Hollywood Reporter, she has decided to take a personal leave of absence. “Grey’s Anatomy is one big-hearted, brilliant family,” she said in a statement. “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. I’m immensely grateful to Disney, ABC, and Shondaland for allowing me to do so and for supporting me through this very difficult time.” Finch is no longer under investigation by Disney, according to THR. Reportedly, Disney briefly proposed that Finch see a mutually selected doctor, but the writer declined and instead took a personal leave from the medical drama. Afterward, Disney suspended all inquiry into her medical issues. Finch’s attorney has previously stated that she would not disclose “her private health matters.”

Original story follows.

Between Inventing Anna, The Dropout, and Bad Vegan, you would think the television economy would be heading fast toward some kind of scammer-content overfishing situation in which we’re totally tapped out of true-life grifter stories. But one heroic television writer has gone above and beyond to keep the creativity flowing … possibly by scamming the Grey’s Anatomy writers’ room. The Ankler reports that writer Elisabeth Finch, who has written on Grey’s Anatomy since 2014, has been put on administrative leave by ABC for possibly lying about her own medical history. According to personal essays she published in outlets including Elle and The Hollywood Reporter, Finch was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer the year before she was hired on Grey’s, underwent a chemotherapy-related abortion, and “lost a kidney and part of her leg and then was required to have knee replacement surgery only to later learn that she had been misdiagnosed.” Finch reportedly shared these stories with the writers’ room, inspiring some plotlines of the show. But network executives now suspect that these might have been fabrications.

A source told The Ankler that Finch’s wife, Jennifer Beyer, called executives at Grey’s Anatomy’s production company, Shondaland, and ABC parent company Disney to alert them of her wife’s “alleged deceptions.” Multiple sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Beyer realized that “similarities to the story Finch told her colleagues and Beyer’s history matched.” Now Beyer is seeking a divorce. If it’s true that Finch cherry-picked traumas from her wife’s medical history and used them to deceive her colleagues and further her own career, that’s terrible. But it’ll make a really good Shondaland miniseries.

TV’s Latest Scammer Story Is an Actual Grey’s Anatomy Writer