NeNe Leakes found fame through the reality TV show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and was one of its original members. In 2020, she revealed that she would not be returning to the show for its thirteenth season.
She’s also appeared on some hit TV shows like “Glee” and “The New Normal” until its cancellation in 2013. Aside from her shows, she also has several businesses, such as SWAGG Boutique and The Linnethia Lounge in Georgia.
Her husband, Gregg, was known for his work on Masterchef USA, “I Dream of Nene: The Wedding,” and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” He and NeNe were married twice, first from June 22, 1997, to September 29, 2011.
Two years after their separation, they decided to give their love another chance, and they got married on June 22, 2013, and remained married until his death on September 1, 2021. Gregg has six children, five from an ex-girlfriend and one, Brentt Ahmad, from his relationship with NeNe.
HIS ROLLERCOASTER BATTLE
Like Gregg, NeNe also had a child before their marriage, as she welcomed Bryson Rashard Bryant on December 26, 1989. On November 5, 2018, he was first diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, and his road towards fighting the illness was full of ups and downs.
Five months after first revealing her husband’s cancer diagnosis, NeNe shared some good news with her fans on social media. After completing chemotherapy in April 2019, Gregg was cancer-free.
A CHALLENGING TIME
Opening about his diagnosis at the time, NeNe revealed that it took a toll on their entire family. She disclosed:
“When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we all were diagnosed with cancer in my house. Our house was just.. we were so down about it.”
CONSIDERING A DIVORCE
NeNe and Gregg were on season 11 of “RHOA,” where they documented his fight against cancer. It showed how difficult the situation was for their marriage, leading to numerous fights and arguments.
In 2019, the couple even discussed getting another divorce, as they didn’t see eye to eye. However, NeNe stuck by Gregg until the very end.
THE RETURN OF HIS CANCER
In fact, during a show reunion, they revealed to everyone there that they were in couple’s counseling trying to work through their issues as a team. Unfortunately, just this year, Gregg’s cancer came back.
The former reality TV star shared the difficult news with a media outlet, saying he underwent surgery. Her husband was in the hospital for over a week.
HOW THE ILLNESS CHANGED HIM
Ultimately, NeNe admitted that cancer made her husband “super small.” She added that his illness made him different. However, despite all the changes, she still asked everyone to pray for him.
According to her, his last five days on earth were “really beautiful.”
On September 1, Gregg succumbed to the illness. He was 66 at the time of his death. His publicist released a statement regarding his passing, saying:
“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 LAST FEW WEEKS
A couple of days prior, NeNe, 53, revealed to those in her Atlanta bar that her husband was “transitioning to the other side.” She decided to say something after a patron made remarks after refusing to greet her a “happy birthday” in the club.
Now, the former TV star shares her husband’s last words before he took his final breath. NeNe revealed that as a couple, they made peace with what was happening.
SURROUNDED BY LOVED ONES
Looking back at their 25 years together, NeNe and Gregg found comfort in the conversations they shared days before his passing. According to her, his last five days on earth were “really beautiful.”
All of his children and best friends made sure to check in on him, and they sat with him around the clock. His last days were filled with conversation as they tried to make peace with what was happening at the moment.
MOVING ON WITH LIFE
As NeNe was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the idea of losing him, Gregg’s last words to her were, “I’m not going to leave you. God is going to bless you.” She added that her husband wanted her to move on with her life.
Unfortunately, she believes this is easier said than done. NeNe took on the role of Gregg’s primary caretaker when the businessman was diagnosed with cancer. While it was difficult, she powered through.
PREPARING HIS FAMILY
According to the former “RHOA” star, her husband did many things around the house, even simple things like calling their “lawn guy.” She had to ask him simple questions, and Gregg once said to look into his office and look at the wall.
There, NeNe found an envelope taped to it that said, “open this if anything ever happens to me.” Upon opening, there was a letter to their son Brentt, more information about bills to pay, their accountant, and more.
CHOOSING GREGG AGAIN
The TV personality acknowledged that it took a lot of strength for her husband to write all of those down, knowing that he was dying. However, despite everything that happened in their lives, NeNe is certain that she wouldn’t change it for anything.
She told Gregg that she wouldn’t have chosen any other man aside from him. “I married you twice, crazy man,” she recalled. When he passed, NeNe was there, holding his hand through it all.
NeNe remembers the scene vividly, as he took a deep breath and just stopped. While she thought she would be scared, she just held him and kissed him goodbye.
During Gregg’s funeral, many of NeNe’s friends made sure to pay their respects. One of them was Kenya Moore. According to her, it was a “no-brainer” for her to attend.
FRIENDS PAYING RESPECTS
Despite her fight with NeNe, she revealed that Gregg never treated her differently. She respected the late man so much and described him as a “kind, gentle, caring, supportive man.”
Many others paid tribute to Gregg on social media, like Sherri Shepherd, who posted on Twitter. Cynthia Bailey revealed she was “heartbroken,” sharing many good times and amazing memories with the Leakes family.
So many good times & so many amazing memories. Gregg was always so loving, funny & kind. So blessed to have had him in my life. Sending my heartfelt condolences to @NeNeLeakes and her family. Thinking of you & my heart and prayers are with you.🙏🏽❤️🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/3kg78upPaD
— Cynthia Bailey (@CynthiaBailey10) September 1, 2021
Kim Zolciak Biermann also shared a photo of NeNe and Gregg on her Instagram, remembering him as “peaceful and kind.” Like many others, Biermann noted that Gregg would be missed.