Norwegian tycoon Arne Naess, ex husband to Diana Ross, dies while climbing in South Africa
Arne Naess

According to sources from the South African police department, Arne Naess, a Norwegian shipping billionaire and the former husband of the singer Diana Ross, passed away on January 13, 2004, while mountain climbing in South Africa. Naess was 66 years old.

Mary Martins-Engelbrecht, a spokesman for the police department, stated that Mr. Naess was climbing in the Groot Drakenstein mountains, which are around 56 kilometers (44 miles) away from Cape Town, when he reportedly fell around noon on Tuesday.

Mr. Naess was climbing on his own, without much protective gear, only ropes and a harness, according to Ms. Martins-Engelbrecht. It is believed that he slipped and plummeted around 320 feet to his death. No suspects of wrongdoing were found.

Johan Rupert, the son of South African industrialist Anton Rupert, was waiting at the base of the mountain for Mr. Naess when the disaster occurred. Mr. Naess was paying a visit to Johan Rupert.

In April of 1985, Mr. Naess led a group of Norwegian climbers to the top of Mount Everest. He was a seasoned mountaineer who had participated in the expedition.

The offspring of a marriage that ended in divorce, Naess was brought up by his uncle, who was also called Arne Naess. Naess was born in Oslo. At a young age, his uncle introduced him to the activities of mountain climbing, skiing, and ski jumping.

In the past, People magazine referred to the adventurous actions that young Arne Naess engaged in as the reason for his rise to fame. During the year 1956, he celebrated his graduation from school by climbing the spire of the National Theater building in Oslo and placing his cap on the needle of the structure, as reported by People.

After some time, he found himself working for a different uncle in New York City who had built a career out of shipping and had become quite wealthy. In the late 1960s, Naess had already established himself as a successful businessman in his own right. By the middle of the 1980s, he was said to have major shares in twenty different firms and to have a net worth of one hundred million dollars.

Their first encounter took place in the Bahamas in May of 1985. They were married in a civil ceremony in New York City in October of the same year, having swiftly built a strong relationship with one another. The couple allegedly invited luminaries such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Gregory Peck, and Marlon Brando to attend their wedding, which took place in a chapel in Romainmotier, Switzerland, in February of 1986. The event was described as a “storybook wedding.”

In his relationship with the singer, Naess gave birth to two sons: Ross and Evan. Although the pair spent a significant amount of time traveling to other locations, such as Nepal and Africa, they ultimately decided to settle down and be married across continents. At the beginning of the 1990s, he was spending a greater portion of his time in London, while she stayed in the United States to raise her children with Naess and three daughters from her previous marriage.

Naess disclosed to an interviewer on Oslo television that the pair had ended their relationship at the beginning of 1999. Although Ross stated that she did not wish for the marriage to end, the couple ultimately divorced.

Regarding the passing of her ex-husband, Ross did not immediately provide any reaction from her end.

Additionally, Naess is survived by five other children, two of which were born to his Norwegian girlfriend, Camilla Astrup, in addition to the children he gave birth to with Ross.


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