The 47-year-old writer was married to the king’s daughter Martha Louise for 15 years and they had three children before their divorce in 2017. Picture: AP

London - A princess's former husband who claimed he was groped by Kevin Spacey killed himself on Christmas Day.

The death of Ari Behn was confirmed in a poignant message from King Harald of Norway who said the family would carry "warm, fond memories" of him.

The 47-year-old writer was married to the king’s daughter Martha Louise for 15 years and they had three children before their divorce in 2017.

In December of that year Behn accused Spacey of having groped him a decade earlier.

He claimed the incident took place at a Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo hosted by Spacey and fellow Hollywood star Uma Thurman. He told Norwegian radio: "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."

Behn said he put the 60-year-old 'American Beauty' actor off by telling him: "Er, maybe later."

He added: "My hair was dark at the time, I was ten years younger and right up his alley." Spacey did not respond to the allegation and in the past two years other men have come forward to accuse him of sexual abuse and harassment.

Behn spoke candidly about his struggles with mental health issues and his last book, Inferno, detailed how he had suffered headaches, hallucinations and difficulty breathing.

He admitted that the pressure of being a member of the royal family had made him resort to heavy drinking.

In an interview in 2009, he said: "I just work harder until lunch, and I can take the day’s first drink around 1.30pm... that’s happening more often, unfortunately. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up."

His marriage to Princess Martha Louise in 2002 was heavily criticised at the time because months earlier he had made a documentary in which he was seen partying with prostitutes.

The couple had three daughters: Maud Angelica, 16, Leah Isadora, 14 and Emma Tallulah, 11.

In a statement confirming the death on Christmas Day evening, King Harald said: "It is with great sadness that the Queen and I have received the message of Ari Behn’s passing. Ari has been 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 dear father, and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who now have lost their dear son and brother. We ask that Ari’s immediate family get some rest during this difficult time.’

Another of the actor’s accusers died in September, bringing the lawsuit to an end. It means Spacey will enter the new year free from any of the charges hanging over him.

He broke his silence by posting a bizarre video on YouTube on Christmas Eve – filmed as his villainous character from 'House of Cards'.

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He says: "It’s been a pretty good year and I’m grateful to have my health back. In light of that, I’ve made some changes in my life and I’d like to invite you to join me.

"As we walk into 2020, I want to cast my vote for more good in this world."

Daily Mail