Princess Martha Louise of Norway says she fell into ‘a pit of depression’ after her ex-husband’s death

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·3 min read
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  • Queen Sonja of Norway
    Queen consort of Norway
  • Ari Behn
    Norwegian author and artist (1972-2019)

Princess Martha Louise of Norway spoke out about how she coped with the sudden death of her ex-husband Ari Behn.

The Scandinavian writer, who was among the people who had accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, took his life on Christmas Day 2019 at age 47.

The former couple was married for 14 years. They divorced in 2017 and have three children.

Recently, the oldest daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja joined Tessy Antony de Nassau, the former princess of Luxembourg, on the Zoom O’Clock podcast where she reflected on how she faced Behn’s tragic passing.

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"I think it's so important that whatever we go through as human beings, and we all go through so many different things, and sorrow is something we all have to meet at a certain point in life," the 50-year-old explained. "Unfortunately, my kids met it at a very young age. But we all go through it at some point, and I think it's really important the lessons we all learn from that — that you can't go round it, you have to go through it."

"It is like having tunnel vision because it does cover everything," Martha Louise shared. "You can get stuck in that sorrow and you can go into a pit of depression, which I did, and you can get out of it as well."

The princess described how her daughter Maud, 18, recently wrote and illustrated a book about grief titled "Threads of Tears." Martha Louise said it has been "a positive thing for her to share with people so that she could work through her pain and all the things she has been through with her sorrow."

Martha also noted the importance of mental health awareness. Her daughter successfully advocated having a day dedicated to it at her school.

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Wedding of Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn in Trondheim, Norway on May 24, 2002. <span class="copyright">Photo by Pool BASSIGNAC/BUU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images</span>
Wedding of Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn in Trondheim, Norway on May 24, 2002. Photo by Pool BASSIGNAC/BUU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

After Behn’s funeral, Martha Louise took to Instagram and opened up about losing her former spouse.

"Dear Ari, We were supposed to be together at Christmas and celebrating," she captioned a smiling photo of Behn. "We had all been looking forward to it. And we are so infinitely sad and sorry for the loss of just you, because you were the girls' warm, funny, wise and good dad that they so dearly miss."

"We miss the funny comments, your fine viewpoints, the poetic tone, the overflowing compliments, the great love you had for them," the royal continued. "Today you would have been so proud of them. But now there is a void where you were, because no one can ever replace you for our beautiful girls."

"And it is so painful to think that you would leave the earth," she shared. "We are in deep sorrow and pain all together. An invisible illness took you more and more, because that's when the mental health fails. For a long time, we gradually saw you disappear, but we held on to the belief that this would go well. Your family fought for you. They have been there for you day and night."

Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn share three children. <span class="copyright">Photo by Mark Cuthbert/Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images</span>
Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn share three children. Photo by Mark Cuthbert/Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

You are and will continue to be deeply missed, Ari," Martha Louise concluded her post. "And I feel sad that you never really understood how loved you were. I hope that we who are left can be good at praising each other and saying the nice words to each other. For we have this life to share just how happy we are for each other and what wonderful qualities we see in each other. We keep you in love, Ari, and move on with your words: Every day is a party and you are a piece of jewelry."

Martha Louise is currently dating Shaman Durek, an American spiritual guru to the stars.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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