Gregg Leakes, a former real estate investor and longtime veteran of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality TV series has died at the age of 66. His death was announced Wednesday and confirmed by his wife and fellow reality TV star, NeNe Leakes. He died after a difficult three-year-long battle with colon cancer.
“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,” a spokesperson for the Leakes said in a brief statement.
Condolences poured in on social media after news of Leakes’ death broke.
Back in August, NeNe made mention of her husband’s critical condition following a video that surfaced of the star lashing out at a fan at a comedy club. Reports say the angry attendee called NeNe rude for declining to wish a crowd-goer happy birthday.
“I had no idea that I was going to walk in here and grab this microphone and make this announcement but I want to say this… I want to be at peace,” the Glee veteran said at the time. “When you see me and you see my son, give us a lot of love, okay? My husband is transitioning to the other side… You don’t know what we’re dealing with right now.”
As NewsOne has previously reported, Gregg had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer since 2018. That year the businessman revealed to fans that he would not undergo chemotherapy, but would have a piece of the affected area removed instead, although officials at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston advised him to seek treatment.
“I’m deciding to really take my life and use it as a mouthpiece for other people. I just want to use my life in a way to help someone. So I can say, ‘I’m Gregg and I have cancer,’ but I will be a survivor,” Gregg said at the time of his decision.
According to the American Cancer Society, people suffering from the condition have a 63% chance of survival. Colon or colorectal cancer disproportionately affects African Americans, as they are 20% more likely to face the difficult condition and 40% more likely to die from it.
NeNe and Gregg have been together for more than 20 years. They first married in 1997 and divorced in 2011. The couple later reconciled and said their vows again in June 2013. The star’s journey to remission was often documented on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” in 2019, as the couple publically displayed the trials and tribulations of their marriage.
As he battled cancer that same year, Gregg issued a public apology to his wife stating that he took his marriage for granted.
“We always hurt the ones we Love.. because they allow us to hurt them rather than snap back,” he wrote. “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. 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 on me … Cancer WILL change your Life…”
The New York native leaves behind 6 children: A son named Brennt whom he and NeNe share together and five children from his previous relationships: Katrina, Damian, Dexter, Daryl, and Denton.