Princess Martha Louise Reflects on Ari Behn's Suicide in Heartbreaking Christmas Message

McKenna Aiello
·2 min read

For Princess Martha Louise and her three daughters, the 2020 holiday festivities were marked by a tragic milestone.

On Christmas Day, the Norwegian royal paid tribute to ex-husband Ari Behn, who died by suicide exactly one year prior at the age of 47. In a message shared to her Instagram, Princess Martha wrote, "This year has been a very different holiday season because Ari, the beloved father of my three girls, is no longer among us. He chose to leave this [planet] last year on this day."

The royal said that her girls, Maud, 17, Leah, 15, and Emma, 12, took time to honor Ari and the legacy he left behind.

"We celebrated his life today, we cried over his loss and how much we miss him," Princess Martha continued. "It has been a day of loving whatever is. LIFE hits us all. We can't avoid it. We have to meet it."

Princess Martha concluded her message with a request to those enduring a similarly difficult year, writing, "Know you are loved. Know you are needed. Know you are worth the help you can get. Please ask for help. Please express how you are. You are loved."

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Daughter Lea also stressed the importance of prioritizing one's mental health in a recent Instagram post marking the one-year anniversary of Ari's death.

"One year ago today, my dad killed himself and it's really been one of the hardest years of my life," the teen expressed, adding, "It's okay to feel down, but you have to get up and remember who you are, who you want to be! And I can't speak from your perspective, but I have been on the other side. And I can tell you that really hurts."

In 2002, Ari wed Princess Martha, who is the eldest child and only daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja. They split in 2016, a first for the Norwegian royal family. The following year, Ari—who made his career as an author and playwright—accused actor Kevin Spacey of groping him at a Nobel Peace Prize event a decade prior.

Kevin, who has mostly retreated from public life since allegations of misconduct were first leveled against him in 2017, never publicly addressed Ari's claims.

In January 2020, Ari was laid to rest in Oslo.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).