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Dustin Diamond talks time in jail, 'Saved by the Bell' tell-all book with Mario Lopez

By Wade Sheridan

HOLLYWOOD, May 19 (UPI) -- Dustin Diamond has cleared the air regarding his time in jail and the tell-all Saved by the Bell book with former co-star Mario Lopez on Extra.

The actor who famously portrayed Screech on the high-school sitcom, was arrested for recklessly endangering safety, possession of a switchblade knife and carrying a concealed weapon in 2014 following an altercation at a bar in Wisconsin.

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Diamond cleared up the brawl on Extra to Lopez stating that he was only defending his fiancee Amanda Schutz. "I opened my pocketknife and said, 'Let my wife go immediately,' which worked," he said. "The guy came from around me and grabbed my throat, and so he nicked his arm on the tip of [the blade]. It was a Band-Aid, the most expensive Band-Aid I've ever bought."

After serving three months, the 39-year-old now has a new lease on life. "I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me... for that clean slate," he said. "Time for a change."

Lopez also asked Diamond's thoughts on his 2009 Saved by the Bell tell-all Behind the Bell, which alienated him from fellow co-stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen for claiming that the cast took part in drug use and hook-ups during filming.

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According to Diamond, he didn't write the book and he was deceived by a ghostwriter.

"I wanted to write a book about my life ... I was supposed to talk to a ghostwriter for 40 hours total. I talked to a guy for 90 minutes total ... another two weeks go by, and I get something in the mail, I get a copy of the book," he explained. "They fabricated a whole bunch of stuff."

"It wasn't me, I didn't write this. I was just as shocked and appalled," Diamond continued after stating that he hopes the interview will help clear things up.

In February of 2015, the cast of Saved by the Bell reunited on The Tonight Show with Diamond stating at the time about being left out, "It would have been fun, but I don't see it as a personal insult."

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