Why Dustin Diamond Only Remained in Contact With 2 of His ‘Saved by the Bell’ Co-Stars
Before he died of cancer on February 1, 2021, the actor discussed his former cast members in his book, Behind The Bell.
Dustin Diamond released a ‘Saved by the Bell’ tell-all in 2009
Diamond started working on Saved by the Bell when he turned 11. The actor beat out several child actors for Screech’s part and appeared in Disney Channel’s Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Eventually, the Disney series landed on NBC as part of its Saturday morning lineup. When it came to the network, Good Morning, Miss Bliss, turned into Saved by the Bell.
Saved by the Bell followed the lives of Bayside High School students Screech (Diamond), Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen), Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley), and A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez). Diamond worked with his castmates for 12 years and maintained relationships with them off-set.
In 2009, the actor threatened his friendships with his former co-stars. With the help of a ghostwriter, Diamond released a book called Behind The Bell in 2009. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he made trivialized claims against his co-stars, including that all cast members had sexual relationships with each other. Additionally, Diamond revealed that the actors misused drugs behind the scenes.
The memoir isolated Diamond from his co-stars
After Diamond released Behind The Bell, his co-stars were displeased. In 2014, Gosselaar called the book “negative” and said nothing negative happened on set, per Huffington Post. Soon, Diamond became embarrassed about the tell-all. He shared in several interviews that he didn’t write the book himself. The Celebrity Big Brother contestant shared on an episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that he didn’t have the final say on the book’s content.
“A lot of the stories were just kind of throwaways,” Diamond said. “Really, I have nothing but good thoughts and memories toward everybody. I expected that I was going to be sent a copy to proofread and [say], ‘Okay, thumbs-up or thumbs-down.’ And I was sent the copy, ‘Oh, this is done.'”
Three years later, Diamond explained on the Dr. Oz Show how the tell-all impacted his relationship with the rest of the Saved by the Bell cast. He shared with the host that he changed his ways since the book came out. The reality star also said only two of his castmates accepted his apology after Behind The Bell’s release.
“Mario Lopez and I speak frequently, Denis Haskins speak frequently, of course, Slater and Belding, they know what I went through,” Diamond said. “But the rest of the cast, Mark-Paul [Gosselaar] I haven’t seen since I was 16 years old; I feel terrible for it, but what can I do, I guess tweet him.”
The ‘Saved by the Bell’ cast paid tribute to Dustin Diamond
Although Lopez and Haskins forgave Diamond, it’s unclear if any of his other cast members followed suit. However, many of the Saved by the Bell alumnus paid tribute to the actor when he died on Monday. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show’s original cast paid homage to the Screech actor through statements.
Gosselaar, who refrained from talking to Diamond for over two decades, offered support to his loved ones. Before he died, the star was in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius,” Gosselaar wrote.
“My sincere condolences to his family and friends,” he continued. “Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.”
Diamond died at the age of 44.