Former Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond says his time behind bars on disorderly conduct and concealed-weapon convictions isn’t like “what you see on TV.”
Diamond says in an interview with Extra‘s Mario Lopez that jail was “daunting” and “scary,” but he says “you can get in and out unscathed” if you follow the rules. (Lopez was also Diamond’s SBTB co-star on the Saturday morning NBC sitcom from 1989 to 1992.)
The 39-year-old Diamond was convicted in Wisconsin last year on the charges stemming from a 2014 bar room brawl.
Diamond tells Lopez that he was defending his fiancée with a pocket knife.
His jail stint was just another issue in a long history of drama.
The actor, best known as “Screech,” tried to cash in on his fame in 2006 by directing and releasing a sex tape called “Screeched.” He later admitted it was not actually him in the video. “There was a stunt person,” he said to Lopez. “I had to take a chance. What if that thing had made $3 or 4 million?”
Lopez also brought up the tell-all book, Behind the Bell, that got Diamond in trouble with his former co-stars.
Diamond now claims it was his ghostwriter who went rogue.
“I wanted to write a book about my life… I was supposed to talk to a ghostwriter for 40 hours total. I talked to a guy for 90 minutes total… another two weeks go by, and I get something in the mail, I get a copy of the book… They fabricated a whole bunch of stuff… I kind of super railroaded on that.”
Lopez said that the book didn’t paint a flattering picture of his fellow SBTB castmates.
“Imagine how I feel, I haven’t talked to Marc Paul or Elizabeth or Tiffani in ages, so I can’t imagine what they think, and I’m hoping this will clear it up,” agreed Diamond. “It wasn’t me, I didn’t write this. I was just as shocked and appalled.”
Diamond, who is now a stand-up comedian, wants to focus on getting married and starting a family with his fiancée. He’s not done acting, either.
“I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me… for that clean slate,” he said. “Time for a change.”
The interview amounted to Diamond’s first public comments since being released from jail in April.
WITI-TV reports Diamond served three months of a four-month term.
With files from The Associated Press