Ari Behn, Norwegian author and Kevin Spacey accuser, dies at 47

What you need to know about Ari Behn

Author Ari Behn, who in 2017 accused actor Kevin Spacey of groping him years earlier, has died, according to multiple reports. He was 47.

In a statement obtained by CNN, a spokesman for Behn’s family said he died Christmas Day by suicide.

“It is with great sadness in our hearts that we, the very closest relatives of Ari Behn, must announce that he took his own life today,” spokesman Geir Hakonsund said in the statement, according to CNN. “We ask for respect for our privacy in the time to come.”

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Behn, who was born in Aarhus, Denmark, married the only daughter and eldest child of Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja, Princess Martha Louise, in 2002. The couple met through his mother, who had been the princess’s physiotherapy tutor, according to BBC News. They announced their divorce in 2016.

Behn is survived by three daughters from his marriage with Princess Martha Louise: 16-year-old Maud Angelica, 14-year-old Leah Isadora and 11-year-old Emma Tallulah, according to the Independent.

In a statement obtained by the newspaper, the office of the Crown Prince remembered Behn as "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," the statement said. "We were all very fond of Ari. Our thoughts go especially to Maud, Leah, Emma, ​​Princess Martha Louise and Ari's immediate family."

Behn penned three novels, three short story collections and three plays over the course of his career. He was best known for his 1999 short story collection “Trist som faen” or “Sad as hell,” which was translated into several other languages, according to his website.

In 2017, Behn made headlines when he told Norwegian media he had been groped by Spacey at an event hosted by the actor 10 years earlier, according to BBC News.

Several others have also accused Spacey of inappropriate sexual behavior, including actor Anthony Rapp. Spacey has denied the allegations.

Earlier this year, prosecutors dropped an indecent assault and battery charge against Spacey after his accuser declined to testify in connection to a 2016 incident at a Nantucket bar.

In October, prosecutors dropped another case against Spacey after the accuser died.

Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn attend the royal wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist at The Royal Palace on June 13, 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn attend the royal wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist at The Royal Palace on June 13, 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)