Ari Behn's Mom Pays Tribute to Late Son as Funeral Date Is Set: 'The Darkness Never Took You'

The author and former husband of Norwegian Princess Martha Louise died by suicide on Christmas Day

Ari Behn
Photo: Nigel Waldron/Getty

Ari Behn’s mother paid tribute to her son on Friday, two days after the author, who was married to Princess Martha Louise of Norway for 14 years before their 2016 divorce, died by suicide at the age of 47.

Alongside a photo of herself and her son smiling on the beach, Marianne Behn shared a touching note on Facebook, written in both Norwegian and English.

“Dear beloved Mikis,” she wrote. “The darkness never took you.. IT was the bright shining LIGHT merging with you ❤️.”

A funeral for Behn is taking place on Jan. 3 at the Oslo Cathedral, with services to be conducted by the bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg, PEOPLE confirms.

Behn was married to Princess Martha Louise of Norway, 48, for 14 years before officially divorcing in 2016. They share three daughters: Maud Angelica, 16, Leah Isadora, 14, and Emma Tallulah, 11.

The royal’s parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja, said Behn was “an important part of our family for many years, and we carry warm, fond memories of him.”

“We are grateful that we had the chance to know him. We grieve for our grandchildren, who have lost their beloved father, and extend our deepest sympathy to his parents and siblings, who have lost a dear son and brother,” the monarchs added in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.


“Ari was a good friend, a much-loved member of the family and a fabulous uncle with whom we shared many of life’s precious moments. It is with great sadness we have learned of his passing,” read another statement from Princess Martha Louise’s brother, Crown Prince Haakon, and Her Royal Highness Crown Prince Mette-Marit. “We were all extremely fond of Ari. Our thoughts at this time are with Maud, Leah, Emma, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari’s closest family.”

Princess Martha Louise, who is now dating American “spiritual guide” to the stars Shaman Durek, has not released a statement on her ex-husband’s death.

Behn — who worked as an author and wrote three novels, three short story collections and three plays, according to his website — previously accused actor Kevin Spacey of groping him at a concert for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. The writer spoke to radio station P4 about the incident in 2017, according to the BBC.

“We had a great talk, he sat right beside me. After five minutes, he said, ‘Hey, let’s go out and have a cigarette.’ Then he puts his hand under the table and grabs me by the balls,” Behn said.

“Er, maybe later,” Behn said he told Spacey, now 60.

Spacey — who has largely disappeared from the public eye after more than a dozen men made sexual misconduct allegations against him, all of which he has denied — did not respond to Behn’s allegation at the time. A rep for Spacey did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment in the wake of Behn’s death.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to

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