Chadwick Boseman Secretly Married Longtime Girlfriend Taylor Simone Ledward Before His Death

The world is currently mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman, who died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. His team released a statement on his social media pages to confirm the news, sharing that he passed with his wife and family by his side. Boseman had been dating Ledward for years, but it has never been reported that they were married until now.

According to Just Jared, Boseman and Ledward wed at some point before his passing, although no details about their nuptials have surfaced. The publication noted that it was rumored that the couple got engaged sometime in 2019. (The Daily Mail reported that they got engaged in October.) However, those engagement rumors were never confirmed. Ledward, a singer who graduated from California State Polytechnic University, and Boseman made their red carpet debut as a couple at the SAG Awards in January 2019. She was also by his side throughout the awards season as he was promoting Black Panther. The two last appeared in public together in February when they appeared at an NBA All-Star game.

Boseman and Ledward took a private stance when it came to their relationship. But, in March of 2019, the Black Panther actor spoke about his relationship for the first time in public during their appearance at the 50th NAACP Image Awards. At the event, Boseman accepted the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as King T'Challa in the Marvel film. In his acceptance speech, he specifically issued his gratitude for Ledward, "Simone, you're with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you." The camera then panned to Ledward, who could be seen mouthing the words "I love you" back to her partner.

On Friday, Boseman's team confirmed that he passed away after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. In their statement, they noted that the actor worked throughout his battle with the illness, portraying numerous iconic characters and figures as he did so. The message read, in part, "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and several more - all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in Black Panther." Boseman died with his wife and family by his side. His team's statement ended by noting that his family "thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."