NeNe Leakes's husband, Gregg Leakes, who she first married in 1997, has died of colon cancer, days after she explained that he was "transitioning to the other side." He was 66.
Publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes made the announcement: "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," he said. "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, who co-starred on several seasons of the Real Housewives of Atlanta before she left the show last year, shared one adult son, Brennt. (Both had children from previous relationships as well.) And they'd spent decades together. The two split in 2010 and eventually divorced, but they remarried in a 2013 TV special.
In 2018, they shared that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer. However, he was in remission by May 2019, as the reality show documented. But that didn't last long. Sadly, NeNe revealed in June that his cancer had returned and he had recently undergone surgery. She told the Jasmine Brand that it was "difficult."
"He's super small," she said. "If you've ever been around somebody who's had cancer before, he's different. He's different."
Then, on Saturday, she told guests at the Linnethia, the lounge she owns in Duluth, Ga., that her husband's health was deteriorating. After there were complaints that Leakes wasn't wishing a customer happy birthday, she was allegedly captured on video saying that she just wasn't in the mood to celebrate, because of her husband's situation.
The reality TV star commented that she was "broken" on Monday.
In March 2013, Leakes explained to In Touch via Reality Tea why and how the two came back together after their split.
"I was learning how to navigate my way through this industry while still trying to be a mom and a wife. I kind of did push Gregg aside," she said. "Now I make more time for my family, and I communicate with Gregg about everything."
Gregg had proposed to her on New Year's Eve in Miami. He "had a big heart made of Hershey's Kisses on the bed," she said. "It was sweet! I said yes right away."