Amanda Righetti, the 30-year-old actress who plays special agent Grace Van Pelt on CBS' hit show, The Mentalist, has confirmed that she is set to be leaving the series. Righetti says that she and co-star, Owain Yeoman ('Wayne Rigsby,' her on-screen love) will both be exiting the show after this season's finale.
Righetti has played special agent Van Pelt since the pilot episode of the series; The Mentalist airs Sunday nights on CBS.
The first reports of Righetti leaving the show surfaced back in August. At that time, creator Bruno Heller didn't comment on whether or not those rumors were true.
We now know that they probably were, though Heller has not officially commented since Righetti announced the news of her exit. As for her reason for the departure, the actress told TVLine, "I feel like the time is probably right. It's the end of one thing but the beginning of something new."
The 30-year-old can't comment, however, on the specifics of how the pair will be written out of the drama - and not just because she is sworn to secrecy.
"It keeps changing," the Mentalist actress' says. "It think it was an unexpected turn for the writers, too."
Rigsby and Van Pelt will still be in the December 1st episode, which is set in the future - 2-years later, in fact.
Righetti explains the lovers' roles in the 'future' episodes, saying, "Basically, they have their own private security company. So we sort of are outsourced and freelanced with the FBI, and that's how we fit in."
You can watch the next episode of The Mentalist on Sunday night on CBS; it airs at 10 p.m.
Main image courtesy Glenn Francis/toglenn/www.PacificProDigital.com via Wikimedia Commons.