• NeNe Leakes' husband Gregg succumbed to cancer, his publicist announced Wednesday
  • Andy Cohen paid tribute to Gregg and remembered him as a strong voice of reason 
  • NeNe's "RHOA" co-stars also sent their love and prayers to her and her family 

NeNe Leakes' friends are grieving with her following her husband Gregg Leakes' death.

Gregg succumbed to colon cancer, his publicist and longtime friend Ernest Dukes confirmed Wednesday. Gregg, who regularly appeared on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2018 and had been in remission for two years. However, his cancer returned just months ago.

"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 in a statement to People. "We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family & allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time."

Following the news, Andy Cohen and NeNe's "RHOA" co-stars took to social media to pay tribute to Gregg and send their love to the surviving family.

"I am heartbroken over the passing of Gregg Leakes, a wonderful man," Cohen tweeted. "I jokingly called him 'Pastor Leakes' but in truth, he was a strong voice of reason & commanded great respect among the entire #RHOA team. I am sending love and strength to @neneleakes & the entire Leakes family."

NeNe's former co-star Cynthia Bailey took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of herself with her husband Mike Hill and Gregg and NeNe. In the caption, the American model said the picture was one of her favorites because it brought back fond memories. The snap was taken on Mike's birthday.

"Out of nowhere, Gregg asked to pray for Mike and I. For our love & our relationship," she wrote in the caption. "He was first person to actually pray for us as a couple. It was so heartfelt and so beautiful. We were all so touched and blown away by his words. I think Mike & I both teared up. There was sincerely a ministry inside of him. He truly blessed us that night & we will never forget it."

Cynthia said it was only one of the things Gregg did to bless their family. So, she was "saddened" to hear about his passing.

"My heart and prayers go out to @neneleakes and her family. Gregg was a good man, so kind & so loving. I will miss him, and will always honor his memory with love. #RIP #greggleakes #heartbroken," she concluded.

Her husband Mike commented on Cynthia's post with three praying hands emoji. Cynthia also shared a snap of Gregg on her Instagram Story as a tribute. "Heartbroken over the passing of @greggleakes. Praying for @neneleakes & her family," she wrote.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann also sent her love to NeNe and the rest of the family. She shared a snap of the couple on the photo-sharing platform and accompanied it with a supportive message for Gregg's surviving family.

"So heartbreaking I’m so sorry for this tragic loss @neneleakes. I am sending you and your entire family lots of love and prayers," she wrote.

Kim also praised Gregg for being "one of a kind." She remembered him as the person who was "ALWAYS kind, considerate, and the calm in any storm."

"He was the peaceful voice of reason and will be greatly missed by so many. His legacy lives on in you and the boys. Until we meet again, may you rest in Paradise, Gregg," she wrote.

Porsha Williams, Sheree Whitfield and Kandi Burruss also sent their love and prayers to NeNe and her family. They also shared their fond memories of Gregg. Kandi said he was an "amazing man" with "great energy." Meanwhile, Sheree remembered Gregg as a "kind, funny, a complete gentleman, and just a good guy."

NeNe took to Instagram Sunday to share an image that read "Broken" with a broken heart emoji and praying hands emoji. She shared the photo shortly after telling a customer who called her rude for not greeting them a happy birthday that she was not in the mood to do so because her husband was dying.

"You don't know what we’re dealing with right now. We walked in this lounge because we had to walk in this lounge because this is our business," she said. "So, 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 and Gregg Leakes Slideshow
32. (tie) NeNe and Gregg Leakes: The "Real Housewives of Atlanta" personality spared no expense when she remarried her former husband in 2013, spending $1 Million on the nuptials. The couple can be seen attending the NBC Golden Globes After Party in Beverly Hills, California on Jan. 10, 2016. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NBCUniversal