Fans of the OG Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes and her husband Gregg Leakes have witnessed the couple’s relationship go from up to down to up again over the years. The love story of the pair is definitely one for the books and the biggest takeaway from their union is that, at the core, the two are amazing friends.
On Wednesday, September 1, news broke that Gregg lost his battle with colon cancer. The 66-year-old was first diagnosed in 2018 and was then in remission for two years before the cancer returned in June 2021.
Publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes issued a statement to PEOPLE.com stating, "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 reality star had been seen on camera speaking to a crowd at a nightclub on Sunday (Aug. 29) and said Gregg “will be transitioning to the other side.”
Despite the heartbreaking news, fans of the show know that NeNe has stood by her husband during these incredibly challenging days as he had done for her in the past. Here are five times that the Leakes’ exemplified Black love and true relationship goals.
I GOT YOUR BACK!
During season one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe was heartbroken when she found out that the man who she believed to be her biological father, Curtis, was not. Leakes would then go on a journey to find out the name of the man who was actually her bio dad only to learn it was a friend of Curtis. The entire situation left both Curtis, NeNe and other family members with a bunch of hurt feelings. Gregg, however, was there every step of the way, supporting his wife through her journey to find the truth about her paternity.
Gregg has proven time and time again that he is an amazing and present stepfather to NeNe’s first son, Bryson Bryant. He has been in his life since Bryson was 9-years old. The couple also welcomed their son, Brentt, in February 1999. In addition to Brentt and Bryson, Gregg has five other children: Denton, Daryl, Damian, Dexter and Katrina.
NeNe and Gregg first tied the knot in 1997 but called it quits in 2010 before finalizing their divorce in 2011. However, the bond between the two is undeniable. After trying to move on separately, they realized they really do complete one another. Gregg popped the question and the couple was engaged less than two years after they officially broke up.
“Well … a little after midnight, I was asked this beautiful question: ‘Will you marry me — again?'” Nene said during a January 2013 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The couple exchanged wedding vows and remarried in Atlanta sharing each special moment as a part of the seven-episode BRAVO special, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.
NeNe and Gregg Leakes surprised fans on the 2017 Celebrity Showdown of MasterChef USA where they, unfortunately, lost to Empire newlyweds Trai Byers and Grace Gealey Byers. The experience, however, showcased their ability to listen and work together as a team, but most of all that after 20 years, the two still know how to have fun.
YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN
After NeNe decided that she was not going to return to season 4 of RHOA (this was just a brief stint, she ultimately returned for several seasons after her mini departure), Gregg was right by her side as she explored new opportunities. From supporting her efforts to becoming a stand-up comedian to her foray in 2014 into acting as the new wicked stepmother in the Cinderella Broadway Musical, Gregg has always been a part of the ride, even going on the road with her.
This next phase won’t be easy as NeNe and the rest of Gregg’s closest friends and family prepare to say their final goodbyes. The memories created over the past two decades will hopefully guide them during their time of mourning.