Gregg Leakes died Wednesday after a long battle with colon cancer, a family publicist announced. Leakes, who is married to Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes, was 66 years old.
“Today the Leakes family is in deep pain with a broken heart,” Ernest Dukes said in a statement. Duke is a family friend and a publicist for the family. “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.”
Gregg Leakes was originally diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2018 but had gone into remission. NeNe Leakes announced in June 2021 that his cancer had come back and that he was in the hospital, recovering from surgery.
“We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family and allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time,” Dukes requested in his statement Wednesday. According to reports, Gregg Leakes and his wife, NeNe, were married twice. Their first marriage began in 1997 but ended in 2011 after a dramatic divorce. They then remarried in 2013.
Three days before his death, NeNe Leakes posted a not-so-cryptic picture on Instagram. “Broken” was written out across a black canvas. Underneath were two emojis – prayer hands and a broken heart. The reality start did not caption the post at all, though the comments section flared with support from family, friends, and fans.
“Praying for you and your family,” Tabitha Brown wrote. Katrina Taylor commented that she was “praying heavy.”
NeNe has not posted on social media since the news of Gregg’s death has emerged. She remained silent Wednesday.
Days before his death, NeNe responded to a fan while visiting Linnethia, explaining that “if you see me if you see my son, give us a lot of love.” The fan reportedly asked NeNe for a happy birthday message before accusing the reality star of being rude.
“My husband is transitioning to the other side…” she told the guests. “You don’t know what we’re dealing with right now. We walked in this lounge because we had to walk in this lounge because this is our business. So, when people approach and say, ‘You’re rude because you don’t want to say happy birthday,’ my husband is at home dying. I don’t want to say, ‘Happy birthday.’”
She then asked again for fans to “give us some love.”
While announcing that her husband was out of remission in June, NeNe said that Gregg Leakes is “so-so.” She explained that “he’s been in the hospital for a week, tomorrow. I’m sure he’ll be home in about a week or so. He had to have a surgery. So his cancer did return.”
During Gregg Leakes’ difficult battle with Stage III colon cancer, NeNe admitted that “it’s difficult.” She said that “he’s super small. If you’ve ever been around somebody who’s had cancer before, he’s different. He’s different.”
She then asked everyone for their support. “Love everybody to pray for Gregg, that would be beautiful. Pray for his strength… so pray for Gregg and pray for me, too.”