Elisabeth Finch, one of Grey’s Anatomy’s most vocal writers, has been placed on administrative leave amid concerns that elements of her personal journey — some of which she wrote into the Shonda Rhimes-produced show — were allegedly fabricated.
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that Disney’s human resources and legal departments are conducting an internal investigation to determine if elements including her cancer diagnosis and abortion while undergoing chemotherapy, among other subjects, were not accurate. Reps for Shondaland did not immediately respond to calls and emails from THR. The Ankler earlier reported that an investigation was launched by Disney.
Finch has been a writer on Grey’s for years and has penned multiple episodes of the series for former showrunner Rhimes and current showrunner Krista Vernoff. She’s also detailed her personal struggles in essays for publications including Elle, Shondaland.com and THR while also doing multiple rounds of press for episodes over the years that were allegedly based on her own experiences.
Multiple sources tell THR that the doubt over the validity of Finch’s personal details arose after the writer cited a family emergency and left the writers’ room to address a family matter. When colleagues phoned Finch’s wife, Jennifer Beyer, similarities to the story Finch told her colleagues and Beyer’s history matched. Beyer raised concerns with Disney and Shondaland execs, prompting Finch to be placed on administrative leave. Finch and Beyer are now said to be going through an “acrimonious divorce,” as one source described it.
“Ms. Finch will not disclose her private health matters. Likewise, she will not speak about her pending divorce from her estranged wife, Jennifer Beyer, or comment on any statements that Ms. Beyer may have made to third parties about Ms. Finch,” Finch’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, of Lavely & Singer, said in a statement to THR.
Multiple industry colleagues who have been friendly with Finch for years tell THR that they’re stunned by the rumors and no longer know what to believe and cite a lack of “smoking gun” to illustrate the disbelief. “You believe this poor woman was going through this awful thing and you want to support her,” said one of Finch’s longtime associates.
In addition to Grey’s Anatomy, Finch’s writing credits include The Vampire Diaries and True Blood.
Reps for Beyer could not immediately be reached for comment. Reps for ABC and ABC Signature, which produces Grey’s Anatomy, declined comment.
March 17, 8:36 p.m. PST: This story has been updated with a statement from Finch’s attorney.