Dustin Diamond, aka “Screech” and all-time celebrity dork, is now in jail. Diamond, the 39-year-old actor best known for playing the lanky dweeb Samuel Powers on the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, was booked Friday into a Wisconsin jail to begin serving out a four-month prison sentence for stabbing a fellow on Christmas day 2014.
Writes ABC News on Jan. 16: “Diamond, 39, was booked Friday into the Ozaukee County jail. He was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct after a three-day trial in June. He was acquitted of a felony. Diamond initially appealed his conviction, but withdrew it last month.”
Diamond and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, were at a bar in Port Washington, about 25 miles north of Milwaukee, when an altercation broke out. According to Diamond, a small group of men initially wanted some pictures and autographs, but then began harassing his girlfriend, who was reportedly punched in the face. Diamond admitted to bringing a pocketknife into the bar, and he said he took it out just to “scare off” the group. Not sure how terrifying Dustin Diamond is armed with a tiny jackknife, but…
One of the men, identified as 25-year-old Casey Smet, was stabbed by Diamond – an incident that the actor says was completely “accidental.” At his hearing last year, Diamond testified: “I sincerely apologize to everyone involved. This was the single most terrifying experience of my life,” he said, according to People. “This is all I’ve been able to think about for the last six months.”
Diamond has had his share of controversial moments after his Saved by the Bell years. In 2006, he directed and released a sex tape, calling it Screeched – Saved by the Smell. He was not actually in the tape however. Diamond said he used a “stunt double.”
In 2009, Diamond drew criticism from his fellow Saved by the Bell cast members for publishing an unflattering book called Behind the Bell, which painted his fellow actors as engaging in sordid backstage behavior. In the book, Diamond claims that he had sex with over 2,000 women. Four years later, Diamond recanted a number of things in the book, admitting that it was ghost-written based on loose interviews he did, and that the majority of the details were exaggerations or outright fabrications.
For some reason, Diamond thought pulling out a knife would cause the fight to deescalate, and said Smet himself didn’t even realize at first that he was stabbed. “I figured it would take the fight out of the people,” he said. “Casey Smet didn’t even know he was injured, so how would I?”
In addition to spending four months in jail, Dustin Diamond was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to his stabbing victim.