His team said that his diagnosis was "serious" and that it is stage 4. He will be at a Florida hospital until his testing is done.
Dustin Diamond, who played the role of Screech in the 1990s American sitcom Saved by the Bell, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, his representative told Entertainment Weekly. The 44-year-old actor is currently undergoing treatment at an undisclosed Florida hospital, and it hasn't been announced what kind of cancer he is suffering from.
Diamond is expected to release a statement once a formal diagnosis has been made. However, his team said that his diagnosis was "serious" and that it is stage 4. He will be at the Florida hospital until his testing is done. "He's undergoing chemo so he will be there at least another week and then we will figure out when he gets to come home," explains his rep. "By next week, we'll have a much better understanding of the severity of his condition and what treatments he will need so that he's comfortable."
The representative also said that he was feeling "fine" on January 14 but not so much when he got himself admitted to the hospital. "He was fading in and out, feeling sleepy and tired. On top of all this, he also has shingles, so he's been in a lot of pain," the rep said.
Diamond, who played the nerdy Screech Powers when Saved by the Bell was released in 1989, initially had "a huge lump on his throat." Eventually, he sought medical help. The actor has previously faced bankruptcy. In 2006, he was selling T-shirts with his photo on them to raise $250,000 in order to not lose his house under a foreclosure order. "If the public didn't care, I as an entertainer wouldn't have been a success," he said, as per CBS News.
Unfortunately, the sitcom he is most known for had an active run before he turned 18. His parents reportedly spent his money and there were substantial tax miscalculations that left him in debt as a young adult. Since the sitcom, he hasn't worked much as an actor. He initially filed for bankruptcy in 2001 in California, where he listed his employer as NBC and his take-home income as about $5,300 a month.
I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this. Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery.— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) January 15, 2021
God Bless pic.twitter.com/zRKioFvhMl
He was also caught in a Ponzi scheme and benefitted from it, reports HuffPost. The investigator who was to sort through the assets of Ponzi schemer Robert Stinson Jr. alleged in 2012 that Diamond benefitted from the scam in a recent complaint. The complaint sought to get the actor to return the money he got from the scam. The complaint alleges that the actor and others "unjustly, inequitably, and/or fraudulently received cash and in-kind benefits." Diamond has gotten into more trouble over the years. He also featured in a pornographic video that was shared on the internet.
He was also not cast in the sitcom's recent revival series starring several original cast members, as per Entertainment Weekly. The current story in the show explains Screech as living "on the International Space Station" with his robot Kevin. However, he had been in talks to revive his role. "They've been talking, so we're keeping our fingers crossed," his team said.