"Today the Leakes family is in deep pain with a broken heart," a spokesperson told E! News on Sept. 1. "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 statement continued, "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 news came just days after NeNe told a crowd at her venue The Linnethia Lounge in Duluth, Ga. on Aug. 28 that Gregg was nearing the end of his battle with cancer. According to footage shared by It's OnSite, NeNe said, "Give us lot of love, OK? My husband is transitioning to the other side. People approach and say, 'You're rude because you don't want to say happy birthday.' My husband is at home, dying."
She added that her "husband is losing his life at this very moment," and stated, "Sometimes you don't know what people are dealing with and what people are going through, OK? My husband is not going to be here in the next couple of days, OK?"
In June 2021, NeNe gave an update on her husband's health during an Instagram Live with The Jasmine Brand, revealing that Gregg had undergone surgery. "This is the first time I'm saying something about it," NeNe explained. "I'd love everybody to pray for Gregg...pray for his strength...and pray for me, too."
An insider additionally shared, "Gregg is not doing well. His health has been declining over the summer. Although this is not entirely unexpected, Nene is not ready to let him go."
Gregg was first diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in May 2018.
"Our New Normal and the fight begins #f--kcancer," NeNe captioned an Instagram photo of Gregg at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston at the time. "He has said to me over and over again, 'Go on, go out there, have a good time, do the show, I'm gonna be fine,' but I find it mentally very hard for me to do. Gregg will be out of the hospital this week, he will be stronger, he will be better and we will be out here doing this show again in no time."
In May 2019, NeNe announced that Gregg was cancer-free, and in September 2020, the RHOA alum parted ways with the Bravo reality series. "I have been on an extremely, extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation," she explained in a YouTube video. "I have made the very hard and difficult decision to not be a part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13."
NeNe and Gregg were a bit like the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of Atlanta. They first wed in 1997, divorced in 2011 after 14 years of marriage, then remarried two years later. The longtime lovebirds tied the knot for a second time in 2013 with Bravo spin-off special, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding. The couple are parents to two adult sons.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)