Gregg Leakes has passed away. His publicist, Ernest Dukes, shared the news on Wednesday (September 1).
“Gregg Leakes, most notably known for appearing alongside his wife, actress & TV personality NeNe Leakes on 12 seasons of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, has passed away at the age of 66,” he said. Dukes also spoke on behalf of the Leakes family in a statement to MTONews.
“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.”
Gregg’s passing comes just days after NeNe spoke publicly about his health, telling patrons at The Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Georgia that her husband was in the process of transitioning and was dying at home.
“You don’t know what we’re dealing with,” she said. “We walked up in the lounge because we have to because this is our business. So when people approach us saying ‘You’re rude’ because you don’t want to say happy birthday, my husband is at home dying. And I don’t want to say happy birthday, ok? So please, give us some respect. Give us some love. That’s what we ask of you. You see my son, he’s hurting, I’m hurting…my husband is losing his life at this very moment.”
Brentt shared his own message on Instagram (his page has since been deleted) soon after the appearance at the lounge.
Gregg’s Stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis was made public in 2018 and while he and NeNe were still cast members of Real Housewives of Atlanta. His health crisis was a major test for the family and on the couple’s marriage. But in 2019, things seemed to be in a much better place, not only as Gregg was then free of cancer but also because their relationship was solid. But earlier this summer, NeNe stated that Gregg was back in the hospital after having surgery because his cancer returned.
In 2018, during an episode of RHOA, Gregg opened up about his take on life and death after he had to have emergency surgery to treat the cancer.
“I went over and I prayed to God. I told him, if it’s time, let’s go,” he said. I don’t fear death. I don’t want to go, but if my work is finished take care of them. Let’s go.”
Gregg leaves behind NeNe and their son, Brentt, as well as NeNe’s son Bryson from a previous relationship. Gregg also has five other children from before his relationship with NeNe in sons Daryl, Damian, Dexter, Denton, and daughter Katrina. He married NeNe in 1997. They divorced in 2011 but reunited, remarrying in 2013.
Below, ESSENCE looks back at the couple’s love through the years.