Entertainment

‘Saved by the Bell’ star Dustin Diamond did not die in jail riot

For whom “The Bell” trolls.

On Wednesday, social media users shared a screenshot of a story appearing to report that “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond died in a prison riot at age 43. Fortunately, nostalgic sitcom fans can rest easy as the piece appears to be satire, according to Reuters. 

According to the parody piece, Diamond — who played the nebbishy Samuel “Screech” Powers in the 1990s NBC comedy — was serving a 15-year sentence for stabbing a heckler when he was “tragically struck down in prison resulting in his death.”

The purported hoax was perpetuated by social media users who were eager to break the fake news. “Thy gatt Screech son lol,” wrote one Facebook user above a screenshot of the story. Another shared the still with a link to an unrelated music video on YouTube.

Dustin Diamond in a photo from Season 4 of "Saved By the Bell."
Dustin Diamond in a photo from Season 4 of “Saved By the Bell.”NBC / Everett Collection

As it turns out, the piece was published by the website Ringssss, which bills itself as a “fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website” that “uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized.” The story is especially suspect as it hasn’t been reported by any other news outlets, according to Reuters.

As many Facebook users pointed out, Diamond is not currently in prison. However, the 43-year-old comedian and director was sentenced to four months in a Wisconsin jail in 2016 after a 2015 conviction for disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon the prior year. Diamond was released a month early, whereupon he was forced to return to the clink a month later over a probation violation, according to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office. He stayed there for just two days.

Diamond has not been confirmed to appear in the upcoming “Saved by the Bell” reboot, which premieres Nov. 25 on the NBC streamer Peacock.

Dustin Diamond
Dustin Diamond in 2016Getty Images


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