(NEW YORK) — Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for playing Screech on the 1990s sitcom Saved by the Bell, has a message for anyone who thinks jail is a breeze.
“It’s not like what you see on TV, I’ll tell you that,” the 39-year-old said in an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra. “It’s pretty daunting, pretty scary going into that environment.”
Diamond, 39, allegedly stabbed a 25-year-old man in a Port Washington, Wisconsin, bar on Christmas Day 2014, according to a police report. The scuffle was captured on video.
Diamond was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, after a three-day trial in June 2015 and sentenced to four months behind bars.
Diamond maintains he never thrust the knife and stabbed anyone, telling Lopez that he had his pocket knife out when “a guy came from around me and grabbed my throat,” adding: “And so he nicked his arm on the tip of it.”
The actor argued he was trying to protect his fiancée, Amanda Schutz, saying she had been punched in the face after she tried to stop a group of people who were trying to take pictures of him. Schutz was also convicted on disorderly conduct charges.
Although he was sentenced to four months’ jail time, Diamond was released in April, one month early, for good behavior that included performing janitorial work, cleaning floors and doing laundry.
The actor is focused now on his future. “I’ve been doing it – acting and performing — since I was eight years old,” he said. “So it’s really my bread and butter. I’m getting to the point where I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me. You know? It’s time for that clean slate.”
Diamond’s full interview with Extra airs today and Thursday.
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