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The Mentalist's Amanda Righetti Confirms Exit, Teases 'Surprise' Send-Off For Van Pelt

Pink TopsWith her departure from The Mentalist on the horizon, Amanda Righetti is finding comfort in a familiar refrain: change is good.

Speaking out for the first time about her spring exit, the actress concedes, “I feel like the time is probably right,” adding, “It’s the end of one thing but the beginning of something new.”

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Righetti, who is leaving alongside leading man Owain Yeoman, admits that she’s still in the dark about how exactly Van Pelt and Rigsby will be written out of the CBS drama. “It keeps changing,” she explains. “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.”

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In the meantime, Righetti confirms that Van Pelt and Rigsby will play a role in the show’s post-Red John era, which kicks off in the Dec. 1 episode (following a two-year time jump). “Basically, they have their own private security company,” she reveals. “So we sort of are outsourced and freelanced with the FBI, and that’s how we fit in.” (Reporting by Scott Huver)