Jeffrey Mayer/
November 09, 2011 at 08:22 PM EST

Former Girlfriends star Persia White has been cast as Abby Bennett, the mother who abandoned Bonnie (Kat Graham), on The Vampire Diaries, EW has learned exclusively. She’ll first appear in episode 312 and recur. Abby is described as a beautiful but troubled woman who is burdened by the secrets of her past that led her to leave Bonnie. She’s also “as determined and fiery as any Bennett woman.” Is that code for “she’s also a witch,” or, perhaps, was there a reason we learned in last week’s episode that someone can be either a witch or a vampire but never both?

The Vampire Diaries airs its midseason finale tomorrow night on The CW. The network’s top-rated show then returns Jan. 5 with episode 310, which, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, will feature Torrey DeVitto, star of Pretty Little Liars and wife of TVD‘s Paul Wesley, in a recurring role as a doctor who’s intrigued by Alaric’s powers of recovery. (Code for “Alaric dies at this week’s Homecoming Dance but lives because it was at the hands of a supernatural being who, for once, isn’t Damon?” UPDATE: Exec producer Julie Plec says Alaric won’t, in fact, use his ring until the New Year.)

Read more:

EW’s recaps of The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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