Arne Naess Jr: Who is Evan Ross’ father and how did he die?

Evan Ross on Ashlee+Evan
Evan Ross remembers the death of his father, Arne Naess Jr., on Ashlee+Evan. Pic credit: E!

On Ashlee+Evan, viewers have been able to see inside the lives of the musical couple Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross. We saw his mom, Diana Ross, who is a music legend. And we also got to meet Evan’s big sister Tracee Ellis Ross, a sitcom star.

On the next episode, titled Facing Fears, we get to learn a bit more about Evan Ross’ dad too. His name was Arne Naess Jr. and he died when Evan was just 16 years old.

Evan’s dad was a Norwegian businessman who built a worldwide shipping empire. He also had an affinity for mountain climbing, the activity that would ultimately take his life.

Arne Naess was married once before meeting Diana Ross — a union that produced two older half-siblings for Evan. He met Diana in 1985 and got married the same year.

Together, they had two children. Ross was born in 1987 and Evan was born just a year later.

Diana Ross and Arne Naess Jr. divorced in 1999 and after their split, Evan’s dad moved on with another woman. Together, they had two children, boys, who are also half-siblings to Evan Ross.

Evan’s dad began mountain climbing in the 1960s  and was known for his ability to climb even the toughest mountains. He even led the first team of Norwegian mountain climbers to the top of Mount Everest, which is no small feat.

In 2004, when Arne Naess Jr. was 66 years old, he fell to his death during a mountain climbing expedition near Cape Town, South Africa. He was climbing the Groot Drakenstein mountains by himself with just a rope and harness when Naess fell more than 300 feet to his death.

Arne Naess Jr. was visiting a friend, Johan Rupert, who had been waiting at the bottom of the mountain for him when he died.

On Ashlee+Evan, we’ll get to hear more about Arne Naess Jr. and his tragic death. It all comes up with Evan’s older brother Ross asks him to go mountain climbing with him. Evan wants to go but has a hard time getting over his fear of falling — clearly something he should legitimately worry about.

How will Evan Ross cope with a mountain climbing trip? And will it bring up too many sad memories of his dad?

Ashlee+Evan airs on Sundays at 10/9c on E!

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11 months ago