Last month, we reported that former “Saved By The Bell” star Dustin Diamond had passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. Now, his former “Saved By The Bell” costar Mark-Paul Gosselaar is speaking out to say that he “drifted apart” from Diamond in the years before he passed away, and to confirm that they were not close when he died.
“It’s no secret that the rest of the cast wasn’t very close with Dustin toward the end of his life,” Gosselaar, 47, said while appearing on an episode of the “Zack to the Future” podcast.
“The only thing I can say is there’s really nothing that caused that,” added Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris on the 1990s sitcom. “Some people will speculate that, ‘Oh, well, he wrote a book,’ ‘Oh, he did this,’ ‘Oh, he did that.’ I know for me I would look at that and just go, ‘You know what? That’s Dustin.’ I could see where he would have to do things to make ends meet. [I] never took it personally.”
Diamond, who played Screech on “Saved By The Bell,” died last month at the age of 44 weeks after being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
“The respect I have for him is immense,” Gosselaar said. “He was a good actor. He was a good friend. … My memories of him are all positive, and I feel for all of his family and friends.”
He went on to recall the last time he saw Diamond.
“We did a Comic-Con back in 2019. I saw him. He looked healthy. I met his girlfriend. We had a nice little conversation and took some photos with some of the fans. That was it. We didn’t talk after that,” Gosselaar said. “What a lot of people don’t understand is that you can work with somebody for many years [and not talk to them again]. … It’s a sad thing about the business, but it does happen.”
After Diamond’s death, Gosselaar paid tribute to him in a brief statement obtained by US Weekly.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Gosselaar said. “Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.”
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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