The Norwegian royals received the heartbreaking news that Princess Martha Louise's ex-husband took his own life on Christmas Day. Ari Behn, 47, who was the father of Martha Louise's three children, died by suicide, his manager has confirmed in a statement on behalf of his family. Mr Behn leaves behind three young children, who he shares with the princess, 48.
Geir Hakonsund, Ari's manager, said: "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 a statement, King Harald 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.
"We are grateful that we got to know him.
"We grieve that our grandchildren have now lost their dear father, and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who now have lost their dear son and brother.
"We ask that Ari's immediate family get some rest during this difficult time."
The couple married in 2002 and divorced in 2017. Princess Martha Louise has since found love with Shaman Durek, 44, and took to Instagram on Instagram in May. At the time, she wrote: "He has made me realise that unconditional love actually exists here on this planet...And to those of you who feel the need to criticise: Hold your horses."
Ari famously wrote several novels and plays, and in 2018 he published his last book, Inferno, in which he detailed his struggle with mental health issues. In 2017, the former royal accused disgraced actor Kevin Spacey of allegedly groping him under the table at a Nobel Peace Prize concert.