One the longtime fan favorite husbands of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has died. Gregg Leakes, husband of The Real Housewives of Atlanta original cast member Nene Leakes, has succumbed to colon cancer. He was 66.
“Today the Leakes family is in deep pain with a broken heart. After a long battle with cancer, Gregg Leakes has passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by all of his children, very close loved ones and wife Nene Leakes,” read a statement sent to The Root by publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes on Wednesday. “We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family [and] allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time.”
News of Gregg’s passing comes just days after NeNe publicly shared that Gregg was losing his battle with colon cancer after being diagnosed at stage 3 in 2018. Subsequently going into remission, in June of this year, it was announced that the cancer had returned, at which time Gregg had undergone surgery and was hospitalized for six weeks, as NeNe tweeted in July (h/t People). As reported by The Root on Monday, NeNe gave an unexpected and sad update about Gregg’s condition during a recent appearance at her Atlanta lounge The Linnethia, saying: “When you see me and you see my son, give us a lot of love, okay? My husband is transitioning to the other side....You don’t know what we’re dealing with right now.”
NeNe and Gregg married in 1997 and share 22-year-old son Brentt Leakes. Gregg appeared alongside NeNe on the long-running The Real Housewives of Atlanta for 12 seasons prior to NeNe’s departure from the cast in September 2020. During that time, the couple briefly divorced but quickly reconciled, remarrying in 2013.
Gregg’s early cancer battle was also captured by Bravo’s cameras, as the diagnosis and treatment took a considerable toll on the entire family.
“It’s been a big transition for Gregg and I and our entire family,” NeNe told People in November of 2018. “To learn that Gregg has cancer? Our lives just changed that day. Our whole routine changed. Just…everything changed. I don’t have cancer. Gregg has cancer. But I feel like our whole house has cancer.”
“I feel like that day I lost my husband,” she added. “Our whole dynamic changed.”
“She deserves much more for her hard efforts and tireless hours spent on me,” Gregg later wrote in a tribute to NeNe on Instagram, later adding: “Cancer WILL change your life.”
Prayers to the Leakes family.