Evan Ross is the husband of singer, actress and songwriter Ashlee Simpson. He is also the son of the legendary Diana Ross and on his reality show Ashlee and Evan, fans get to learn more about Ross’ dad.
Ross’ father, Norwegian shipping tycoon, Arne Naess Jr, suffered a tragic death when he was climbing with his friend, Johann Rupert, in the Groot Drakenstein mountains, outside of Cape Town in South Africa. The accident occurred on January 13, 2004 and Naess’ anchoring equipment reportedly loosened, which caused him to suffer a great fall, as reported by the NY Times.
Naess fell over 300 feet and he was 66 years old at the time of his death. He had been mountain climbing for most of his life and even climbed Mount Everest.
In his life, Naess married a couple of times and had several children. Before meeting Diana Ross, he married a woman named Filippa Kumlin d’Orey and they had three children together. One of their kids went on to become a folk and pop singer named Leona Naess. Nearly 20 years after marrying d’Orey, Naess married singer Diana Ross. Together, they had two sons – Ross Arne Naess and Evan Olva Naess. Naess divorced Diana Ross in 1999. He was the singer’s second husband.
Businessman Naess then went on to spend his remaining years with a woman named Camilla Astrup. They also had two sons together.
According to Entertainment Inquirer, though Naess was a multi-millionaire, he didn’t necessarily spoil his children. Evan Ross recalled, “My mom liked to have us travel in first class with her. She’s like, I work for my money and I want my kids to live a certain kind of way. My dad used to get so mad at my mom for flying us first class. So it was a clash on that.” Ross added that, “My dad wanted to fly coach even though he had a lot of money. He liked to be in coach and he was like, ‘I don’t see the point of it.'” Celebrity Net Worth reported that Naess had $100 million to his name, at the time of his death.
Ross also revealed that his parents were complete opposites. He admitted, “They were so different. We would travel to Switzerland and stay at my dad’s house. My mom would bring bags and bags of clothes and all the kid stuff that we wanted. She was like taking the whole house (Diana’s in Connecticut) and moving it to Switzerland for a month. My dad used to be like, ‘Oh!’ because he lived a very simple life. No fancy cars, jeeps or things like that.” But, Ross stressed that both of his parents instilled values and a great work ethic in him. He said they each worked so hard for everything they had and/or have.
According to The Norway Post, when Naess died, Diana Ross performed “Amazing Grace” at his funeral. Ross, in addition to his other ex-wife, and his co-habitant, were present. In addition, all of Naess’ children attended the service.