The Real Housewives of Atlanta has lost a beloved member of the family as NeNe Leakes' husband Gregg passed away following a battle with cancer, the reality star's publicist confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Gregg was 66. Publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes released a statement confirming the Bravo star's death Wednesday.
"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," the statement reads. "We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family & allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time."
The Leakes family announced Gregg had been diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in June 2018, and Gregg underwent a 5-hour surgery to removed the diseased portion of his colon in September of that same year. Following the procedure, the Leakes had to discuss whether he would continue with chemotherapy to prevent any remaining cancer cells from spreading throughout his body. While Gregg was initially more interested in pursuing natural treatments, he ended up undergoing six months of chemotherapy, which finally came to an end on April 3, 2019.
In May 2019, NeNe announced that Gregg had been declared officially cancer-free, sharing on Instagram at the time, "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!!! Yes God!" Gregg shared a similar post on social media, holding up a sign reading, "No cancer found! Praise GOD!"
In June 2021, NeNe revealed her husband was undergoing surgery after his cancer returned, and he unexpectedly stayed in the hospital for six weeks after recovering. In August of that year, the reality personailty shared with guests at her Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Georgia that her husband was "transitioning to the other side," sharing an Instagram post after the exchange hit the internet that simply read "Broken."
NeNe and Gregg first tied the knot in 1997, but split in 2010 amid marital problems. After their divorce was finalized in 2011, the couple reconciled and wed again in 2013. The two share adult sons Bryson and Brentt together, and Gregg is also father to Damien, Daryl, Katrina, Dexter, and Denton from previous relationships.
NeNe announced in September 2020 that she would be leaving the Real Housewives of Atlanta for a second time ahead of the 13th season of the show she helped debut, hinting at negotiation issues behind the scenes. "I started on The Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2008. We took off like a rocket. I mean, we took off," she said in her exit YouTube video. "You could have never told me that I [would have] starred on this little show and it still be going strong 13, 14 years later — and it is. I'm just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows to step up and be a part of what we all now love so much: reality TV."