Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev confirmed on Instagram that she is leaving "The Vampire Diaries" at the end of Season 6. Reuters

“The Vampire Diaries” star Nina Dobrev confirmed rumors Monday she is exiting the hit CW series after its sixth season. The 26-year-old actress took to Instagram to post a long statement to her fans after many began speculating that she wouldn’t return for a new season.

Read the statement from Dobrev below:

Dearest TVD Family,

I've just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of "The Vampire Diaries." I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn't just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six-season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soul mates, and I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever.

There's more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you'll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of Self magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert's life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her -- and to my work family -- as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend's pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in L.A. to audition for "that 'Twilight' TV show." ;-) I love you all. Fasten your seat belts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't.

Love, Nina

Rumors sparked over the weekend after "#ninawewillmissyou" was captioned in photos from an alleged lake house vacation with the cast and crew of "The Vampire Diaries." However reports of the departure of one of the three major stars -- Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley -- started long before the weekend getaway. Last summer sources told E! News that one of the actors had yet to sign a contract for Season 7, and was "unsure" whether he or she wanted to continue. Somerhalder did nothing to ease worried fans when he hinted at the end of the series in an interview with Digital Spy in September.

"It very well could be our last [season]," Somerhalder said. "I think now that there's a finality to it, everyone's really realizing that this is a very important time in our lives. We created some very cool storytelling."

Somerhalder has not taken to Twitter to comment on Dobrev's departure. "Vampire Diaries" executive producer Julie Plec simply wrote, "T'is true."