NeNe Leakes isn’t afraid to admit that her husband Gregg Leakes’ battle with cancer has “been like a roller coaster” for the couple.
“Honestly, it’s a really tough time. Like, it’s really hard, you know? I never knew that cancer could come into our lives and change it the way that it has. It’s been really hard for me, it really has,” the Real Housewives of Atlanta star told Us Weekly exclusively. “I mean, it’s been like a roller coaster. There are days where we have good days and Gregg has good days, then we have bad days and, you know, I feel alone, he feels alone. Because, you know, he sleeps downstairs, I sleep upstairs, out of all the years we’ve ever been together, we’ve never done that before.”
The 50-year-old Bravo star further explained that the duo, who retied the knot in 2013 after filing for divorce in 2011, sleep in separate rooms because Gregg is worried that all of his exposure to radiation will affect NeNe.
“It really has changed us. He’s downstairs, I’m upstairs. He feels alone, I feel alone. I feel like the day they told me that he had cancer, I feel like I lost my husband,” NeNe admitted. “I prayed so many nights just please give me back my husband because I do not have a partner right now. And you realize all the things that your partner really did, like, he, I don’t really know who has my cable. I mean, seriously, I don’t even know who the damn yard people are. … And those are the kind of the things that Gregg really took care of, so now I’m walking around like, ‘Okay, now wait. I don’t want nothing to go off up in here, where do you pay this at? Where does this go?’”
NeNe revealed in June that Gregg has been diagnosed with cancer. She told Us that while her husband is “not in the best mood some days,” he has other days where he feels strong enough to drive.
“I go to his appointments, and some of them he takes himself, you know, when he’s not too weak. He’s always trying to get back to driving,” the reality TV personalty explained. “Then he has a friend that will take him if I’m working, or I’m out of town. We have someone that’ll take him, or our son will take him, so we have a support system, you know, in place, but I go with him as much as I can.”
The Glee alum also emphasized how important it is for her to have supportive friends during this difficult time, including her RHOA castmates Cynthia Bailey and Marlo Hampton.
“Yeah, I have Cynthia and Marlo, and I definitely have talked to, and you know, listen, I never knew that I would need a support system, but let me tell you, I need a f—king support system because so many people look at me and they say, ‘Oh, she’s so strong. She got this, you got this NeNe. I mean, God wouldn’t have put it on you guys if they knew you guys were strong, they knew you could handle it. Gregg has the perfect life, they can handle this,’” NeNe told Us. “I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no bitch. I’m weak. Please come over here and support me.’ We’re not that strong. There’s a lot of things happening over here. There’s been days when I felt like I can’t do this anymore. Like I’m gonna have to leave Gregg, I cannot be with him anymore. Like, I’ve had every thought, because it’s been so difficult, and he’s not been the easiest patient in the world, so I’ve just felt everything. I need a support system, trust me on that.”
NeNe also joked that she and costar Kandi Burruss have “switched roles” on season 11 of RHOA.
“This season, I have become Kandi and she has become me. Normally Kandi’s crying, I cried all season, and Kandi’s now me. She’s just sitting over there, not even crying a tear,” she explained. “I would start talking, just cry.”
Burruss, for her part, recently told Us that she thinks NeNe and Gregg are “doing really good” amid his health battle.
“They have been through it too. I think that’s the difference in this season, like what I was saying about people are having some personal drama … I mean you gotta think, one person going through a wedding, one person is dealing with a battle of cancer, which is deep,” Burruss told Us on November 5. “So many families can relate. Then you got Portia whose pregnant and dealing with that and new relationship. Me, trying to figure out how to expand my family. I feel like there is a lot of personal story this year, which is good.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Bravo Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Brody Brown
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