Inside Dustin Diamond's Final Moments Before His Death

Roger Paul, the rep for the late Dustin Diamond, opened up to E! News about the Saved By the Bell star's final moments: "He always tried to stay positive towards the end and make people laugh."

By Elyse Dupre Feb 02, 2021 8:25 PMTags
Watch: Dustin Diamond Dead at 44 After Battle With Lung Cancer

Fans are learning more about Dustin Diamond's final moments.

The actor passed away on Monday, Feb. 1 at the age of 44. He was surrounded by loved ones, with his rep, Roger Paul, telling E! News Dustin's girlfriend Tash Jules and his friend Dan Block were both by the Saved By the Bell alum's side when he died. The spokesperson said Dustin's father, Mark Diamond, also saw him before Dustin's passing.

Dustin's death came less than three weeks after fans learned he had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. His rep listed carcinoma as the cause of death.

According to Roger, Dustin "did have a lump on his neck" that he had been ignoring. "He was afraid of [the] public responding and giving it attention if he went to get it checked," the rep continued. "Tash, his girlfriend, is a pharmaceutical rep and took him to the doctor. She was an absolute angel in helping towards the end."

Throughout his brief cancer battle, the star remained optimistic. "Dustin was scared, but tried to stay positive, even when death was staring in his face," Roger added. "He always tried to stay positive towards the end and make people laugh."

Screech's Best Saved By the Bell Moments

For over a decade, fans watched Dustin play Samuel "Screech" Powers on Saved By the Bell and its related series, including Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By the Bell: The New Class and Saved By the Bell: The College Years. He also made appearances in a number of films, including Made (2001), Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. (2009). In addition, he starred on several reality TV shows, including Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link, Celebrity Boxing 2 and Celebrity Big Brother.

"Dustin cared about his fans so much," Roger said. "They were so important to him."

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Dustin also made headlines for his personal life, including over a 2006 sex tape and the 2009 book Behind the Bell. During a 2013 episode of OWN's Where Are They Now?, he described the sex tape as the thing he was "most embarrassed about" and the book as "another disappointment."

"I was a first-time author, so they had a ghostwriter," he said at the time. "I talked to a guy a few times, so the book has some truth in it, and a lot of the stories were just kind of throwaways." 

In 2016, Dustin also began a four-month prison stint. According to Reuters, the star was sentenced after he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct in an incident in which he was accused of stabbing someone at a Wisconsin bar. He ended up serving three months.

"When I had my pocketknife like this and the blade was right here, and the guy came from around me and grabbed my throat and so he nicked his arm on the tip of it," he told Mario Lopez during a 2016 Extra interview. "It was a Band-Aid—the most expensive Band-Aid I've ever bought." 

In a separate statement to E! News, Roger opened up about Dustin's "history of mishaps" and "unfortunate events."

"We want the public to understand that he was not intentionally malevolent," the rep noted. "He—much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly—had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache. His actions, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly. In actuality, Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh. He was able to sense and feel other peoples' emotions to such a length that he was able to feel them too—a strength and a flaw, all in one."

Roger also described Dustin as a "character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored."

"We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did," Roger added. "We please ask that you give room for privacy to our team and Mr. Diamond's family during this tragic time, as we grieve and remember the memories spent together. This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden."