In the book, Diamond spilled behind-the-scenes secrets — he claimed that the cast were all hooking up with each other and drugs were allegedly being used on set.
However, Diamond cleared the air afterward. "I will say, guys, I think you're fantastic, working with you has been just one of the icons of my life and I'm sorry that this has taken advantage of me, the book and other situations I'm sure we'll talk about here," Diamond told his castmates when he appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in 2016. "But I'm sure that you've experienced downfalls, as well, in your time and I'm still loving you guys."
"As it turns out, the general public doesn’t realize, I didn’t write the book. I had a ghostwriter," Diamond explained, adding he was upset by some of the stories in the book, too.
The book was not warmly received, and Diamond "hadn’t talked to most of the castmates in a long time."
"Mario Lopez and I speak frequently, Denis Haskins speak frequently, of course Slater and Belding, they know what I went through, but the rest of the cast, Mark-Paul [Gosselaar] I haven’t seen since I was 16 years old, I feel terrible for it, but what can I do, I guess tweet him," he told the host.
Diamond added that he hoped Gosselaar watched the interview.
“How did it make you feel when you had, in many ways your friendships compromised by the book," Dr. Mehmet Oz asked the child star.
"Unfortunately, being in the entertainment industry you get fleeced a lot, you get taken advantage of a lot and it hasn’t been my first bout with that, I’ve gotten good about brushing it off and moving forward, if I dwell at the past it just eats at me and there's nothing I can do about it," Diamond said in regards to losing friends after Behind the Bell was released.
Diamond played Samuel "Screech" Powers for all four seasons of Saved by the Bell and reprised his role in Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Saved by the Bell: The New Class but was not asked to be a part of the Peacock reboot.
In the past few weeks, Diamond’s costars reached out after the 44-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma in early January.
"I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this," Lopez shared on Instagram in January, while Tiffani Thiessen said she was "thinking" of Diamond.
After it was revealed that Diamond had passed away, more castmates paid their respects to the Hollywood star.
"Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…" Lopez wrote.
"I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin," Theissen posted.
"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. 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," Gosselaar tweeted.
Diamond’s career took a massive hit after a sex-tape scandal, in addition to being arrested in 2014 for his involvement in a bar fight. Despite the bumps in the road, Diamond remained a fan favorite.
"It was very touching to have fans that came up to me and I’ve had people, multiple times, come up to me. I mean, we’re talking hundreds and thousands of people that have come up and said, 'you got me through high school you know, I was The Screech in my school and you represented everything that I felt at that time.' Which I never thought of when I was doing the show," Diamond told Dr. Oz.