Businessman Gregg Leakes—most recognizable for appearing alongside his wife, actress, and television personality NeNe Leakes on 12 seasons of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta—has passed away at the age of 66 following a five-year battle with colon cancer.
The news was confirmed to VIBE on Wednesday (Sept. 1) by publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes.
“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 an official statement, concluding, “We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family & allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time.”
Gregg’s death comes merely days after NeNe was forced to open up about her longtime love’s impeding health to a crowd at her nightclub, The Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Ga. Last Saturday (Aug. 28), footage shared by It’s OnSite showed an understandably emotional NeNe informing patrons that her “husband is at home dying” after she claimed a customer called her rude for not wishing them a happy birthday.
“Give us a lot of love, OK? My husband is transitioning to the other side,” she pleaded, explaining that her “husband is losing his life at this very moment.”
“Sometimes you don’t know what people are dealing with and what people are going through, OK? My husband is not going to be here in the next couple of days, OK?” she concluded.
Back in June, NeNe updated fans on Gregg’s health during an Instagram Live with The Jasmine Brand, in which she revealed that her husband had undergone surgery and asked that “everybody to pray for Gregg…pray for his strength…and pray for me, too.”
Gregg was first diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in May 2018. A year later, NeNe took to Instagram to share the news that Gregg had been diagnosed as cancer-free following six months of chemotherapy.
“Look at God! We are over joyed to say, we saw the doctors for the results of Gregg’s Pet Scan he took last week! Test show, wait for It…..WE ARE CANCER FREE!!!” gushed the reality star.
For years, fans of RHOA followed the relationship roller-coaster of the couple, who first married in 1997. Viewers were shocked when the pair unexpectedly divorced in 2011 after 14 years of marriage. However, they tied the knot for a second time two years later in an elaborate ceremony that played out in the Bravo spin-off special, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.
Gregg had four sons and one daughter from a previous marriage: Daryl, Damian, Dexter, Denton, and Katrina Leakes, respectively. NeNe and her husband were parents to two adult sons, Brentt Leakes, and Bryson Bryant, whom NeNe had prior to marrying Gregg.
After reconciling after their divorce, Gregg made it clear to the public that he and his wife shared a beautiful blended family in a 2013 blog post to Bravo, writing, “NeNe loves my children, and truth be known, my children, all 5 of them, have nothing but love for her.”
VIBE sends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gregg Leakes and all those lost to cancer.
Below, watch a powerful scene from RHOA Season 11 as Gregg discusses his cancer battle with close family and friends.