Dustin Diamond aka Screech from Saved by the Bell is not dead. In October 2020, a death hoax spread on social media suggesting the 43-year-old actor had died.
The story being spread on social media originated from a website named Ringsssss. The headline of the story read, “Saved by the Bell’s Dustin ‘Screech’ Diamond’ Killed in Prison Riot at age 43.” The story alleges that the riot occurred as Diamond was close to the end of a “15 year sentence for a stabbing that happened after someone criticized his comedic skills and heckled him at a comedy club.”
The website’s about section describes Ringsssss as a “fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website.” The website says that it uses fictional names in stories “except in cases when public figures are being satirized.”
Diamond is a well-known celebrity thanks to his role on Saved by the Bell. Had he died, his death would be reported nationally and internationally. Heavy could find no other reports that allege Diamond is dead.
At No Point Was Diamond Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison
In December 2014, Diamond was involved in a bar brawl that resulted in a man being stabbed. Diamond was arrested in relation to the incident. In 2015, Diamond was sentenced to four months in prison on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct. He was also fined $500. Diamond was released on probation three months into his sentence, ABC News reported at the time.
Diamond was rearrested in May 2016 after he was found to have violated the terms of his release, CNN reported at the time.
The Associated Press later reported that Diamond’s probation violation was his use of an oxycodone pill. At no point was Diamond sentenced to 15 years in prison. The AP report said that Diamond was released within two days of his rearrest.
According to fact-checking website Snopes, following Diamond’s arrest in 2014, a fake news story went viral alleging that Diamond was charged with attempted murder. Snopes deemed the story to be “false.”
Diamond Was Last in the News in July 2020 When It Was Announced That His Home Was Being Foreclosed
Following his release from prison, Diamond appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in 2016 to apologize to his Saved by the Bell castmates for his 2009 book. The book claimed that Diamond’s co-stars were involved in drugs and had sexual relationships with each other during the filming of the show. Diamond said he did not write the book and the fabrications were the work of a ghostwriter.
Diamond was last in the news in June 2020 when TMZ reported that the actor was behind nearly $300,000 on his mortgage in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Diamond was quoted as saying that he did not know he was so far behind on the mortgage payment. He added that the time he was living in Florida.
The Milwaukee Record reported in July 2020 that the house was for sale for $280,000. The report said the home suffered significant water damage after a water pipe burst in the fall of 2019. The home is listed as a “GREAT REHAB PROJECT!! WON’T LAST!!!”
In February 2020, Diamond told TMZ in an interview that he felt his presence was necessary for a complete reboot of Saved by the Bell. Diamond said to the site, “How can you have Saved by the Bell without Screech? It seems like there’s a missed opportunity there.” NBC announced a reboot of the teen comedy in January 2020.