The holiday season can be a difficult time for some, and tragically a great life was lost in Ari Behn, who died by suicide on Christmas Day, according to a report by E! Online. The 47-year-old author and playwright was the ex-husband of Norway’s Princess Martha Louise, but became more well known in the United States as one of disgraced actor Kevin Spacey’s accusers after he came forward with allegations that Spacey had groped him.
Behn’s manager Geir Håkonsund revealed the tragic news to Norwegian media.
“It’s with great sorrow in our hearts that we, those closest to Ari Behn, must report that he took his own life today. We ask for respect for our privates lives in the time to come.”
Behn was a successful author in Norway before he married Princess Martha Louise in 2002. The couple would go on to have three daughters together: Maud Angelica Behn, born 2003; Leah Isadora Behn, born 2005; and Emma Tallulah Behn, born 2008. Despite his wife’s royal stature, Behn remained a commoner after their wedding and neither he nor the couple’s three daughters were given a special title or privileges. The couple separated in 2016 before their divorce was finalized in 2017. Behn and Martha Louise’s divorce was the first occurrence in the Norwegian royal family.
In a statement, King Harald V of Norway said, “It is with great sadness the Queen and I have received the news 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. We are grateful that we got to know him. We grieve that our grandchildren have now lost their beloved father and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who have now lost their beloved son and brother.”
Behn came forward in 2017 with allegations that he had been groped by Spacey in 2007 during a concert for the Nobel Peace Prize. Behn described the situation as beginning with a “great” conversation before Spacey requested that they should go outside to smoke a cigarette and then making an attempt to grab Behn’s crotch.
Behn said that he deflected Spacey’s advances and described his appearance at the time as having much darker hair and a youthful look, saying it was “right up his alley.”
Behn was one of several men that came forward in 2017 with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Spacey. In 2018, sexual assault charges against the actor involving an 18-year-old in Massachusetts were dropped due to “Unavailability of Complaining Witness.” Spacey has denied all allegations.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.