FACT CHECK: Did ‘Saved By The Bell’ Actor Dustin Diamond Die In A Prison Riot?

Ethan Evers | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook over 56,000 times claims actor Dustin Diamond, known for playing the character Screech on “Saved by the Bell,” has been killed in a prison riot.

Verdict: False 

Diamond has not been killed. The claim appears to come from a satirical website.

Fact Check:

Diamond played Samuel “Screech” Powers on the show “Saved by the Bell” from 1989 to 1992. In 2016, he served three months in prison for carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct in connection with a Wisconsin stabbing incident, according to Reuters. He was arrested for violating his parole a month after his release, the outlet reported.

In recent weeks, some social media users have been sharing a screen grab of an article reporting Diamond died in a prison riot in early October. “Saved By The Bell’s, Dustin ‘Screech’ Diamond Killed In Prison Riot At Age 43,” the headline reads. (RELATED: Did Tom Hanks Wear This Political T-Shirt?) 

Check Your Fact, however, found no evidence to corroborate such a claim. Had the actor died in a prison riot, it would have garnered media attention, yet no credible reports of the incident seem to exist. There is also no evidence that Diamond has been in prison since he was released from a two-day probation hold in 2016.

The viral rumor appears to originate from an article on the website Ringssss, a satirical news website. Ringssss clearly disclaims the satirical nature of its content saying, “Ringsssss is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website.” The image on Facebook fails to disclaim a similar warning, a common way for misinformation to spread.

Ethan Evers