Gregg Leakes was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2018 but he had been in remission for two years. Unfortunately, it returned.
Gregg Leakes, who appeared with his wife NeNe Leakes on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, has tragically passed away due to colon cancer. The couple was a part of the original cast of Bravo’s reality hit series RHOA which aired in 2008. They stayed on the show until season 12 before exiting it in 2020. On Wednesday, Leakes' publicist and longtime family friend Ernest Dukes confirmed the news of his death and revealed that the 66-year-old died "peacefully" at home while being surrounded by his family.
"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," shared Dukes in a statement according to PEOPLE. "We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family & allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time."
According to the Independent, Leakes was diagnosed with the deadly disease back in May 2018. The Real Housewife of Atlanta star had previously spoken out about her husband's health during an event on Saturday, August 28. "My husband is transitioning to the other side," she told the patrons of The Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Georgia. "People approach and say, 'You’re rude because you don’t want to say happy birthday.' My husband is at home, dying," she continued. "My husband is not going to be here in the next couple of days." Just days later, the tragic news of her partner's death surfaced.
53-year-old NeNe took to Instagram and shared a post referencing her husband's demise. The image read, "Broken," alongside a praying hand and broken heart emoji. Leakes' colon cancer was in Stage III when it was first diagnosed. But after treatment, he had been in remission for two years. Back in June, NeNe revealed that he had to be hospitalized and that he was recovering from surgery after his cancer returned. "It's difficult," she said describing the health scare during an Instagram Live at the time. "He's super small. If you've ever been around somebody who's had cancer before, he's different. He's different."
Then in July, Nene canceled a guest-hosting appearance on The Talk and shared an update on her husband's condition. "I was suppose [sic] to be hosting The Talk today. But I got good news that Gregg was coming home after being hospitalized 6 weeks," she wrote in a tweet. The illness had taken quite a toll on the couple's marriage, which first happened in 1997, ended in divorce in 2011, but they found their way back to each other and remarried in 2013. But during the 11th season of Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe admitted that she was considering divorce for the second time as her husband's attitude towards her had changed quite a bit as he underwent chemotherapy.
"It's been a big transition for Gregg and I and our entire family," she said back in 2018. "To learn that Gregg has cancer? Our lives just changed that day. Our whole routine changed. Just … everything changed. I don't have cancer. Gregg has cancer. But I feel like our whole house has cancer." She added, "He's a changed person, his attitude changed. I feel like that day I lost my husband. Our whole dynamic changed. Sometimes I forget that he's sick and I need to remind myself because he's so on edge. He's not nice, but he can't help it." After realizing how his wife felt, Leakes publicly apologized to his wife on Instagram.
"We always hurt the ones we love… because they allow us to hurt them rather than snap back. I'm tired of hurting my wife who is only trying to take good care of me and wants only the best for me too," he wrote. "She deserves much more for her hard efforts and tireless hours spent on me. I pray to God to get it together..she's done NO wrong…. this is ALL me. Cancer WILL change your life." Ever since then the pair has remained strong up until his tragic death.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Jesse Grant