Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding, the high school principal on Saved by the Bell, told RadarOnline.com exclusively that Dustin Diamond (aka Screech) "was not trying to be hurtful" when he made claims that the hormone-crazed, funny-smelling conduct of his cast-mates was worthy of a trip to the Principal's office.
"I don't want to comment on what Dustin said," Haskins told RadarOnline.com at Dimples Karaoke Bar in Burbank, California on Thursday. "I don't know anything about it. I don't want to know anything about it. I loved all those kids and I still do."
Haskins said Diamond, who played the dorky-but-lovable character Screech, "was like my sidekick."
"We worked together more than any other cast members and we became very close friends," Haskins, who has a new karaoke CD out entitled Karaoke With Your Favorite Principal, said. "Dustin is a great kid."
Diamond's cast mates reportedly asked he be left out of a recent People Magazine cover and festivities connected to a SBTB reunion, due to being uncomfortable with their one-time colleague over his post-show antics, which have included: a "leaked" porn movie where the former child actor raves of his fondness for "poop" and multiple publicity stunts to raise money for his foreclosed-upon home.
Diamond said he could smell a certain kind of smoke emanating close to his castmates' dressing rooms, according to published reports released Thursday. Diamond also fingered castmate Mark Paul Gosselaar (the blond heartthrob who played Zack Morris), as a steroid-user prior to 1994's short-lived spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Diamond, according to reports, said Gosselaar suddenly added 25 pounds of muscle onto his lithe frame.
Diamond said the hormone-crazed SBTB teens they played in the scripts sometimes manifested in dressing room, as well.
"If Kelly Tiffani Thiessen was interested in Slater Mario Lopez one week, then backstage there was a lot going between them in Mario Lopez's room," Diamond said, according to published reports. "Then, if Jessie Elizabeth Berkley kisses Zack, then you know Elizabeth Berkley is going in Mark-Paul's room."