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(CNN) —  

Ari Behn, an author and the former husband of a Norwegian princess, died by suicide on Christmas Day, Behn’s family’s spokesman Geir Håkonsund announced.

“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. We ask for respect for our privacy in the time to come,” Håkonsund said in a statement.

Behn, 47, was the ex-husband of Princess Martha Louise, the eldest child of Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja, and the fourth in line to the throne. They married in 2002 and announced they were separating in 2016, according to Behn’s website. The divorce was finalized in 2017.

Two years ago, Behn hit the headlines when he said the actor Kevin Spacey had once grabbed him intimately and suggested they go outside.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, King Harald and Queen Sonja called Behn “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 beloved father — and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who have now lost their beloved son and brother,” the statement said.

Behn was a Norwegian author, writing three novels, three short story collections and three plays, according to Behn’s website.

He co-authored a book with Princess Martha Louise on their wedding and has been a model “for a clothing chain,” his website states.

Several allegations

In an interview with Norway’s radio P4 in December 2017, Behn recounted an incident with Spacey when the actor hosted a Nobel Prize concert.

“I have a little #MeToo story about Kevin Spacey,” Behn said. “We were having a nice chat where we spoke about theater and drama, and the little theater, the Wick, a theater in London. We had a good conversation sitting beside each other. After five minutes he said ‘Hey, let’s go out and have a cigarette,’ then he grabbed me under the table right in the balls.

“I said something like, ‘Maybe later,’” Behn told his interviewer.

Spacey has been accused of sexual abuse by several men, but in his radio interview, Behn tells the story more as a strange, funny incident than as an accusation of abuse.

Spacey co-hosted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize concert with Uma Thurman.

The actor was fired from the Netflix show “House of Cards” before the show wrapped its final season following several allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Spacey has not responded to CNN’s request for comment regarding those allegations.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the year the couple divorced.

CNN’s Tara John, James Frater and Daniel Quai contributed to this report.