| USA TODAY
‘Saved by the Bell’ star Dustin Diamond diagnosed with cancer
Publicists for Dustin Diamond have confirmed he is battling Stage 4 cancer after he was hospitalised for a mystery illness over the weekend.
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“Saved by the Bell” alum Dustin Diamond has been diagnosed with cancer.
Days after Diamond’s Facebook page revealed he was hospitalized to undergo “medical testing,” Diamond’s representative Roger Paul confirmed his diagnosis to USA TODAY.
“We are still doing more tests,” Paul said Thursday. “Once we know, we will have an idea of how to approach it. Right now it is a very serious situation. I’m asking everyone for thoughts and prayers.”
Diamond’s Facebook page also confirmed the news.
“At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” reads a statement posted on @RealDustinDiamond’s Facebook. “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated.”
It’s not clear what type of cancer Diamond is battling.
According to TMZ, Diamond was hospitalized over the weekend in Florida after “feeling pain all over his body.”
Diamond is best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the TV sitcom “Saved by the Bell” from the late 1980s until 2000. Diamond later toured as a stand-up comedian and appeared on reality TV shows and in a few small movie roles.
However, life after Screech Powers hasn’t been easy for Diamond.
He put his name on the controversial 2009 memoir, “Behind the Bell,” which painted an unflattering picture of his fellow actors and their allegedly sordid adventures behind the scenes of the show. Among other things, he claimed to have had sex with thousands of women.
The book was strongly challenged by critics and former co-stars. Diamond acknowledged in December 2013 that the book was ghost written by an author who exaggerated and fabricated anecdotes from innocuous statements Diamond made in interviews.
In 2015, he was found guilty of two misdemeanors – carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct with a concealed weapon – in connection with a stabbing during a brawl. He was cleared of the felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Diamond was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 15 months of probation and released from jail in April 2016 a month early, for helping with jail cleanup work. By late May 2016, he was jailed for what corrections officials described as a probation violation after a urine test was positive for oxycodone.
Contributing: Doug Stanglin