The pair originally tied the knot in 1997 and went on to welcome their son, Brentt, two years later. When NeNe joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2008, the couple’s life at home became a central story line. By 2010, they’d called it quits, with Gregg claiming at the time that “fame got to [NeNe’s] head.”
Their divorce was made final in September 2011, one year after the Glee alum filed to end her marriage. However, they got engaged again less than two years later.
“Well … a little after midnight, I was asked this beautiful question: ‘Will you marry me — again?'” NeNe gushed during a January 2013 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Five months later, the off-on couple exchanged vows for a second time in Atlanta. Their ceremony aired on Bravo as part of a seven-episode special, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.
In 2018, as the pair continued to work on their marriage, the First Wives Club alum spoke candidly about what prompted her split from Gregg during an episode of TV One’s Uncensored series.
“I have been with Gregg since 1996 so it’s been about 20 years or so,” she explained. “Gregg and I went through a bumpy road, I would say, for about two years. I was very young when I started dating Gregg and he had been married before. I had never been married before and he had children from his previous marriage and I had one child. So we got engaged really quick, like, six months in, and we were married, like, a year later.”
NeNe and her husband became “super tight” and “good friends,” which is why their separation came as a shock to those within their inner circles.
“I think a lot of people were surprised when I filed for divorce,” NeNe continued. “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.”
Things took a turn for the couple once more in the summer of 2018 when Gregg was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. After sticking by her man’s side, NeNe told Us Weekly exclusively in May 2019 that their relationship was “in a great place.”
“Gregg, he’s a supporter. He’s always supported my career, and it just was hard for him to support [when he was sick],” she said at the time. “I’m used to him being there, and the fact that he wasn’t there really hurt us because I was just like, ‘I don’t have him to go to for advice. I don’t have him to do anything because he’s sick in bed.’ And it was really tough on us.”
Gregg was in remission for two years before his illness came back in June 2021. Three months later, a representative for the Leakes family announced that Gregg died at home on September 1.
Scroll down for a closer look at the reality star’s unconventional romance through the years: