The Heartbreaking Death Of NeNe Leakes' Husband, Gregg Leakes

Gregg Leakes, age 66, husband to "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes, has died, per People. Publicist and family friend Ernest Dukes released a statement, saying that Gregg died "peacefully."

"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," Dukes said.

Just days ago, on August 29, 2021, TMZ posted a clip of NeNe Leakes confessing to a crowd at the Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Georgia, that Gregg was dying. "My husband is transitioning to the other side," she said, per ET. NeNe revealed the news after learning that several guests at the club thought she was rude for not wishing someone a happy birthday. In her response, NeNe was gracious and wished the person a happy birthday, but asked for grace during this difficult time in her life.

"When you see me and you see my son, give us a lot of love, okay?" she said, via ET, Yahoo!. "My husband is transitioning to the other side ... You don't know what we're dealing with right now. 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.'"

NeNe continued, "You see my son right here, he's hurting, I'm hurting ... We walked in here because we have to walk in here 'cause we have this business but my husband is losing his life at this very moment." 

Gregg Leakes' life before The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Not much is known about Gregg Leakes' life before he appeared on reality TV, though The Famous People notes that the star was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Gregg also fathered five children before he met and married NeNe Leakes, according to The Focus. His four sons and one daughter from previous relationships — named Daryl, Damian, Katrina, Dexter, and Denton — are 44, 43, 38, 36, and 31 years old, respectively. In total, Gregg is the father of seven children, including Brentt, his son with NeNe, and Bryson (Brice) Bryant, his stepson and NeNe's son from a previous marriage.

As Distractify and Celebrity Net Worth stated, Gregg and NeNe met while NeNe was working as a stripper and Gregg was working as a real estate investor and consultant. After dating for a few years, the pair got married in 1997. NeNe gave birth to their first and only child together, Brentt, on February 22, 1999.

Gregg and NeNe initially struggled to make ends meet, according to The Famous People. Fortunately, NeNe began gaining ground in the entertainment industry in 2003. When her career took off in 2008 after being cast in "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," Gregg's career took off as well. He regularly appeared in episodes from 2008 to 2013, sharing his side of the ins-and-outs of their relationship, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Gregg Leakes' rocky relationship with wife NeNe

It was no secret that Gregg and NeNe Leakes had issues in their relationship. "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" made it difficult for the couple to hide anything in their marriage, and they frequently opened up about their troubles in series interviews, per Oprah Daily. In the third season, their relationship seemed to be truly spiraling. NeNe decided to file for divorce in 2010.

"I think a lot of people were surprised when I filed for divorce," NeNe said in an episode of TV One's "Uncensored" series, via Bravo. "I filed for divorce because I always felt like you have to teach people how to treat you and I felt like at that time that Gregg wasn't treating me the way I felt I should be treated. It was me teaching Gregg a lesson, and I think he got it." However, the connection between the pair wasn't lost. Oprah Daily reported that Gregg worked to get NeNe back during Season 5 of "RHOA," and in 2012, the two began seeing each other again. They were engaged a year later, and NeNe revealed the sweet way Gregg popped the question on "Jimmy Fallon." 

"I was asked this beautiful question: Will you marry me — again?" she recalled, per E Online. The big event was made into a seven-part series on Bravo titled "I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding," via Celebrity Net Worth.

Gregg Leakes' cancer diagnosis

In June 2018, Gregg Leakes was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, via Oprah Daily. NeNe Leakes posted a photo to Instagram of Gregg in the doctor's office at the time with the caption, "Our New Normal and the fight begins." In November of that year, Gregg posted an update. "Thank You to everybody for every Prayer & Well Wishes during my journey with Cancer. I am 'Winning' as we go day to day," he wrote on Instagram.

NeNe and Gregg ran into more marital issues as he continued his treatment, and the couple nearly filed for another divorce, Oprah Daily noted. However, they made it through the difficult time. "I'm tired of hurting my wife who is only trying to take good care of me," Gregg wrote in an emotional Instagram post. "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 ... Cancer WILL change your Life."

In 2019, NeNe made an official announcement on Instagram that Gregg went into remission. "We are overjoyed to say, we saw the doctors for the results of Gregg's Pet Scan he took last week! ... WE ARE CANCER FREE!!!" she exclaimed.

Unfortunately, Gregg's cancer returned. NeNe made the news public in June of this year, and revealed that Gregg had a surgery that kept him hospitalized for six weeks afterward, via Entertainment Weekly. In addition to NeNe and his seven children, Gregg Leakes is survived by his grandchildren.