Why Is Amanda Righetti Leaving ‘The Mentalist?’ Actress Says ‘It’s Time’

“Mentalist” star Amanda Righetti spoke out for the first time since rumors surfaced that said she would be leaving the CBS drama. The actress has been on the show since it began in 2008, but now she said she is ready to go.

"I feel like the time is probably right," Righetti, 30, who plays Grace Van Pelt on the show told TVLine. That doesn’t mean she plans on stepping away from the limelight. Righetti added: "It's the end of one thing but the beginning of something new."

She isn’t the only star exiting the show either. Owain Yeoman, who plays Rigsby, will also leave, though Righetti wasn’t able to provide details about how the characters will depart the show.

Both of the stars will appear on the Dec. 1 episode when it returns to television after Thanksgiving, TV Guide reported. The new show will reportedly start off two years after the Red John mystery was concluded. "Basically, they have their own private security company," Righetti said. "So we sort of are outsourced and freelanced with the FBI, and that's how we fit in."

"It keeps changing," she explained about how her character and Rigsby will leave the show. "It's been a little bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants season. I think it was sort of an unexpected turn for the writers too, to have the show kind of be reworked this season. So everybody's kind of trying to figure it out. And [they're] probably keeping it close to the vest so it comes as a surprise to everyone that is watching."

“The Mentalist” airs on Sunday at 10/9c on CBS.

 

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