Ari Behn, ex-husband of Norwegian Princess Martha, has died by suicide

Ari Behn’s death has left the palace stunned and family and friends grief-stricken as members of the royal family pay tribute to the father-of-three, who died by suicide on Christmas Day, aged 47.

The author and artist leaves behind his three daughters, Maud, 16, Leah, 14 and Emma, 11, who he shares with Princess Martha, 48.

The couple married in 2002 and divorced in 2017.

RELATED: Norway’s Ari Behn claims Kevin Spacey groped him 10 years ago

Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise during their first dance. Picture: GettySource:News Corp Australia

Mr Behn’s manager announced the tragedy while King Harald – the Princess’ dad – paid heartfelt tribute to the writer.

The 82-year-old monarch said: “It is with great sadness that the Queen and I have received the message of Ari Behn’s passing.

“Ari has been an important part of our family for many years, and we carry warm, fond memories of him.”

A statement from the Crown Prince family added: “For us, Ari was a good friend, a dear family member and a wonderful uncle, with whom we shared many of life’s small and big moments.

“It is with great sadness that we have received the message of his passing away.”

Princess Martha of Norway and her ex-husband, Ari Behn, in 2015. Picture: AFP

Princess Martha of Norway and her ex-husband, Ari Behn, in 2015. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Denmark-born Behn was seen as a controversial partner for Princess Martha Louise, the only daughter and eldest child of King Harald and Queen Sonja when they wed in 2002.

Behn met his future wife through his mother, who was the Princess’s physiotherapy tutor.

He was best known then as the author of a short book, Sad as Hell, but attracted controversy from the royal family upon the discovery of a television program he had written that depicted sex workers taking drugs in Las Vegas.

Geir Hakonsund, Mr Behn’s manager, said of his passing: “It is with sadness in our hearts that we, the closest relatives of Ari Behn, announce today that he has taken his life.

“We ask for respect for our privacy in the coming time.”

In 2017, Mr Behn claimed Hollywood star Kevin Spacey groped him when they met during a Nobel Peace Prize party 10 years prior.

Former Norwegian royal Ari Behn said Kevin Spacey groped him. Picture: Supplied

Former Norwegian royal Ari Behn said Kevin Spacey groped him. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

He alleged he was propositioned by the disgraced actor.

The House of Cards star met with the then-royal while he was hosting the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo along with Uma Thurman.

Mr Behn told Norwegian radio station P4: “We had a nice conversation, he was sat next to me.

“After five minutes, he says, ‘Hey, let’s go out and have a cigarette’, and then he touched me right on the balls under the table.”

Mr Behn said he was so put out all he could say was “eh, maybe later”.

Spacey did not respond to the allegation, one of many made at the same time.

This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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