Soon, Finch told her employer that she was from Pittsburgh suffering from PTSD. She took six weeks off and was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in Arizona – under the name Jo.
Here she met Beyer, a nurse and mother of four who suffer from PTSD with dissociative episodes after an abusive 18-year marriage. Beyer documented their relationship with Vanity Fairand it’s a deeply grim story, too.
The two women became close and eventually married.
Finch supported Beyer during lawsuits with her ex-husband and dropped everything to return to Kansas with her when he died by suicide.
A few weeks later, Finch wrote her an email Grey’s colleagues who announced she would be back soon. “I went [because] my brother died by suicide,” she told them.
Along the way, Beyer began to suspect that Finch was lying.
First, when Finch complained of pain and Beyer forced her to the hospital, a doctor told Beyer that her fiancé’s kidneys — plural — looked good, even though she claimed she only had one. Later, scrolling through Finch’s Facebook page, she realized she was out with friends the day she was supposedly cleaning up her friend’s body in Pittsburgh.
Some of Finch’s cancer stories weren’t true either: Photos showed her losing her hair, but her eyebrows remained. Her bandage didn’t seem to be applied properly. She had no scar from the chemo anywhere on her body.
After walking on tiptoe for weeks, Beyer confronted her then-wife, who she says confessed to making up her health concerns and involvement in the Pittsburgh tragedy.
While her wife was away, Beyer watched a 2019 episode of Grey’s Anatomy† On screen, she watched the character, Jo, work on her mental health with a therapist. Jo told her therapist about an abusive husband, and the therapist guided her through specific treatments, similar to Beyer’s own experiences.
Over the next few months, Beyer and Finch tried to salvage the relationship on one condition: that Finch tell everyone about her lies.
She put it off for months, but Beyer said she eventually told friends, her parents, and Beyer’s kids.
When Beyer kept urging her to tell her coworkers, Finch filed for a divorce.
In February 2022, someone forwarded Beyer the email in which Finch claimed her brother had died by suicide. After this, she emailed Rhimes directly. When she heard nothing, she texted showrunner Krista Vernoff.
Then called Disney – the parent company of ABC network.
As rumors of Finch’s lies spread,… Grey’s Anatomy co-workers discovered that her brother was very much alive and began to reevaluate everything they had ever known about her.
Disney did not proceed with an investigation because Finch agreed to go on leave.
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 off right now, I know it’s more important that I focus on my own family and my health. I’m extremely grateful to Disney, ABC and Shondaland for allowing me to do this and for supporting me through this very difficult time.”
Through her attorney, Finch has declined to speak about her divorce negotiations or disclose “her private health issues,” according to a statement to… The Hollywood reporter†
Meanwhile, her friends, family and colleagues grapple with the ramifications of a story that is more soap opera than anything they could have imagined in a writer’s room.
But ShondaLand’s next miniseries idea definitely fell into their laps.
Feature image: ABC/Mamamia.
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