Dustin Diamond has been hit by a death hoax, but is very much still alive.
Speculation began online that the Saved By The Bell actor had died aged 43, after perishing in a ‘prison riot’.
Screenshots were spread across Twitter and Facebook of a headline reading: ‘Saved By The Bell’s Dustin “Screech” Diamond Killed In Prison Riot aged 43’, with fans of the show expressing their shock.
However, the article in question came from the site Ringsssss, which describes itself as a ‘fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website’ and says it ‘uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirised’.
A recent article from the site claims that LAX TSA agents search ‘more bootys than any other airport’ – so that’s the kind of stuff we’re dealing with here.
The Diamond article claimed that the actor was at the end of a 15-year prison sentence with two months left to serve when, on October 3, a riot broke out in the prison wing he resided in.
It read: ‘Dustin heard a commotion and leaned out his cell to seem what was going on. A rush of prisoners were coming his way. “Suddenly Diamond was on the ground bleeding profusely and non responsive to medical attention”, says warden Mark MacDouglas.
‘During the rush of prisoners an unknown man pulled out a shank and stuck it in Diamonds neck severing the carotid artery causing a dramatic loss of blood resulting in his death.
‘The family is asking for donations to help pay off strip clubs and bars Diamond owed money to.’
Diamond was indeed jailed after being found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct in relation to a Boxing Day bar fight in 2014; however, he was only sentenced for four months, and was released a month early.
Diamond did return to prison briefly after a probation violation, spending two days in jail in 2016.
So Saved By The Bell fans can rest assured that the death story is just fake news.
Diamond is best known for playing Zack Morris’s sidekick Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers in the classic teen sitcom Saved By The Bell, playing the character throughout the franchise from 1988 until 2000.
However, in recent years, he has been embroiled in a number of scandals, including him releasing a sex tape in 2006.
Diamond – who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother – went on to release a tell-all book about his time on Saved By The Bell, alleging that he slept with 2,000 women and that the cast engaged in sordid behaviour backstage.
The actor is not involved in the upcoming Saved By The Bell sequel, which centres on a new set of high school kids.
However, Elizabeth Berkley returns as Jessie Spano and Mario Lopez’s AC Slater will be a PE teacher at Bayside High.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen are also recurring cast members, with Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski now Governor of California and the First Lady.