On Friday, the world was shocked to learn that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died. He reportedly passed away at the age of 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer. In a statement posted to his social media accounts, his team shared that he died with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and his family by his side. Boseman and Ledward took a private stance when it came to their relationship, and this statement served as the first confirmation that the two had wed. What else is there to know about the couple's relationship?
Boseman and Ledward, a singer who graduated from the California State Polytechnic Institute, initially sparked romance rumors in 2015, which is when paparazzi saw them at Los Angeles International Airport. They would go on to make their red carpet debut as a couple at the SAG Awards in January 2019. A couple of months later, in March of that same year, they appeared at the 50th NAACP Image Awards. During Boseman's acceptance speech for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as T'Challa in Black Panther, he took some time to address Ledward. He told his partner, "Simone, you're with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you." In turn, Ledward was seen mouthing back, "I love you."
While Boseman did open up about his relationship in his acceptance speech, the couple has typically stayed mum when it comes to speaking out about their romance. Although, several of Ledward's family members have spoken out on the topic. In March of 2018, Ledward's sister commented on an Instagram fan page that suggested that Boseman date his Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong'o, as she wrote, per The YBF, "His real-life queen is gorgeous, and together they embody true love. Not to mention they would make some beautiful babies!" Ledward's grandmother also spoke out on their relationship, telling InTouch Weekly in April 2018, "They respect each other. She's very happy, and he is, too."
According to the Daily Mail, the couple got engaged in October of 2019. They wed at some point before Boseman's death, but details have not been revealed regarding their nuptials. In a statement posted on his social media accounts, Boseman's team shared a message in which they expressed that the late actor's wife and family were by his side when he passed. The statement continued, "The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."