Elisabeth Finch wrote a fake cancer story into Grey’s Anatomy. None of it was true.

Camilla Luddington as Dr Jo Wilson in Grey’s Anatomy. Image: ABC.

Soon, Finch told her employer she was suffering from PTSD from Pittsburgh. She took six weeks off and checked herself into a mental health clinic in Arizona – under the name Jo.

Here, she met Beyer, a nurse and mother-of-four suffering PTSD with dissociative episodes after an 18-year abusive marriage. Beyer documented their relationship to Vanity Fairand it’s also a deeply grim tale.

The two women grew close and eventually married.

Finch supported Beyer through court battles with her ex-husband and dropped everything to return to Kansas with her when he died by suicide.

A couple of weeks later, Finch wrote an email to her Gray’s colleagues announcing she would be back soon. “I’ve gone [because] my brother died by suicide, “she told them.

Along the way, Beyer began suspecting that Finch was lying.

Firstly, when Finch complained of pain and Beyer forced her to the hospital, a doctor told Beyer her fiance’s kidneys – plural – looked fine, though she’d claimed she had just one. Later, when scrolling Finch’s Facebook page, she realized she had been out with friends on the day she’d supposedly been cleaning up her friend’s body in Pittsburgh.

Some of Finch’s cancer stories didn’t make sense either: photos showed she lost her hair, but her eyebrows remained. Her bandages didn’t look to be applied properly. She didn’t have a port scar from chemo anywhere on her body.

After weeks of tiptoeing, Beyer confronted her then-wife who she said confessed to making up her health struggles and involvement in the Pittsburgh tragedy.

While her wife was away, Beyer watched a 2019 episode of Grey’s Anatomy. On screen, she watched as the character, Jo, worked through her mental health with a therapist. Jo told her therapist about an abusive husband, and the therapist walked her through specific treatments, similar to Beyer’s own experiences.

Throughout the next few months, Beyer and Finch attempted to save the relationship under one condition: that Finch told everyone about her lies.

She put this off for months, but Beyer said she eventually told friends, her parents and Beyer’s children.

When Beyer continued to push her to tell her colleagues, Finch requested a divorce.

In February 2022, someone forwarded Beyer the email where Finch claimed her brother had died by suicide. After this, she emailed Rhimes directly. When she didn’t hear back, she texted showrunner Krista Vernoff.

Then Disney – ABC network’s parent company – called.

As rumors of Finch’s lies spread, her Grey’s Anatomy colleagues uncovered that her brother was very much alive and began to reevaluate everything they’d ever known about her.

Disney did not proceed with an investigation, as Finch agreed to a leave of absence.

On March 31, she said in a statement: “Grey’s Anatomy is one big-hearted, brilliant family. 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. “

Through her lawyer, Finch has declined to speak about her divorce negotiations or disclose “her private health matters”, according to a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, her friends, family, and colleagues are left grappling with the consequences of a more soap opera story than anything they could’ve dreamed up in a writers’ room.

But surely ShondaLand’s next miniseries idea just fell in their lap.

Feature image: ABC / Mamamia.

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