Update: An official statement posted on Dustin Diamond’s Facebook page confirmed that he’s been diagnosed with cancer.
“At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer. Dustin will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made. We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated,” the statement read.
The actor had been experiencing “pain all over his body,” and tests are being done to determine the cause, according to TMZ. Diamond’s medical team is “concerned it’s cancer” and is awaiting the results of a biopsy, TMZ reported. The gossip site first reported his hospitalization on January, 12, 2021.
Diamond, who celebrated his 44th birthday back on January 7, has a family history of cancer, including his mom, who died of breast cancer, according to TMZ.
Heavy reached out to Diamond’s rep for comment on his current condition.
“All I can say is yes he is in the hospital, but we can’t comment on it being cancer or not… as we don’t know,” his appearance manager, Beth, told Heavy exclusively.
A spokesperson for the actor also spoke with Today after TMZ broke the news.
“It’s serious, but we don’t know how serious yet. He’s going for testing. He hasn’t been feeling well. He’s at an undisclosed hospital in Florida. We are hoping for a speedy recovery,” the spokesperson told the outlet.
Here’s what you need to know:
Dustin Diamond Has Fallen Victim to Several Death Hoaxes in the Past
Diamond has been killed off by internet death hoaxes on more than one occasion. According to Newsweek, that could be because of Diamond’s “erratic behavior.”
In a 2015 interview with Florida Today, Diamond was asked about these hoaxes.
“Some things people say are loosely based on the truth and others are entirely fake. One of the craziest was I was supposedly on the back of a motorcycle with Mark-Paul Gosselaar in New Zealand, and while we were going down the freeway an overpass collapsed and I was beheaded. I mean, that was some tall tale,” he told the outlet. Gosselaar is Diamond’s one-time Saved by the Bell co-star.
The most recent death hoax involving Diamond came in October 2020, when a story online claimed that he had been stabbed in a prison riot while jailed for a stabbing.
A new death hoax involving Diamond could pop up in the coming days, given this latest development on his health.
Diamond Has Run Into Trouble Over the Years & Was Not a Part of the ‘Saved by the Bell’ Reboot
Diamond started acting at a young age. He has dozens of credits to his name, according to his IMDb page, most recently starring in a short called “Catching Up.” To this day he is best known for his role as Screech on four seasons of Saved by the Bell, appearing in 86 episodes between 1989 and 1992.
Diamond got married back in 2009, but he and his estranged wife, Jennifer Misner, are no longer together. According to various reports, the two divorced sometime after 2012. Aside from his public troubles, Diamond has lived an extremely private life, keeping his personal life out of the spotlight.
Diamond’s home in Port Washington, Wisconsin, was foreclosed on in June 2020, and, at the time, he told TMZ he was living in Florida.
Diamond has struggled a bit in his personal life over the years. He has been sued, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, filed bankruptcy and been arrested. According to ABC News, he served time in jail after being convicted of stabbing someone in a bar in 2014.
When it came time for talks surrounding a Saved By the Bell reboot, Diamond wasn’t involved. It’s unclear why producers didn’t want to bring Screech back to the small screen.
In an interview with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live!, Diamond’s former co-star Elizabeth Berkley revealed that she hadn’t spoken with Diamond “in a long time.”
“So, I don’t know if he will make an appearance. We’ll see if there’s another season. Maybe it’s something to explore, and I haven’t talked to him in a long time,” she told Cohen back in November. “Honestly, since I think we finished the show is the last time I actually spoke to him, but not because of anything bad. I mean, he was always nice to me and he’s had his journey, but really I’ve kept more in touch with Mark-Paul (Gosselaar), Tiffani (Thiessen), Mario (Lopez) and then, from time to time, Lark (Voorhies),” she added.
You can watch her full interview in the video above.