Dustin Diamond, the actor, director, stand-up comedian, and musician is best known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers on the Saved by the Bell franchise is still with us, folks.
It appears as though he is the latest celebrity to be killed off via an internet hoax.
In case you weren't aware, Diamond has had some problems following his success on the popular sitcom. In 2006, Diamond directed and released his own sex tape, Screeched – Saved by the Smell. He has been on a few reality shows including The Weakest Link, and Celebrity Boxing 2. He also wrote a tell-all book called titled 'Behind the Bell' that painted a very unflattering picture of his castmates on the show. In December 2014, Diamond was arrested after being involved in a bar brawl that resulted in a man being stabbed. On June 25, 2015, Diamond was sentenced to four months in prison. After serving three months, he was released on probation, which he violated and he was again arrested in May 2016.
On October 4, 2020, the website Ringsssss published an article which stated that "Dustin “Screech” Diamond (43), was finishing up a 15-year sentence for a stabbing that happened after someone criticized his comedic skills and heckled him at a comedy club when he was tragically struck down in prison resulting in his death."
In the 'about us' section of the website, Ringssss explains they are a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website. "Ringsssss uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental."
However, the article went viral, with many fans assuming that Screech was in fact dead. “RIP in peace Dustin Diamond” actually trended for a while.
Reuters did a fact check and confirmed that it was indeed a hoax. The article is meant to be satirical. Aside from the satirical article, Reuters found no other report.
So there you have it - Dustin Diamond is not dead, it appears he was at the Great Smoky Mountain Comic Expo and was looking quite healthy!