On Friday, Aug. 28, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died at the age of 43 after privately battling colon cancer for four years.
In a statement released on his Instagram account, it was revealed Boseman was married to his longtime love. “He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,” the statement read, confirming that he and Ledward had wed sometime before his death.
As Boseman kept his health private, he also remained quiet as to his personal life including his relationship with Ledward, whom he became engaged to in October 2019.
While the couple kept their relationship off social media, they were photographed from time to time beginning in 2015 when the two were seen together for the first time at LAX.
After the two were spotted at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 2018, Ledward’s grandmother confirmed the two were dating to InTouch Weekly in April of that year.
“They respect each other,” Ledward’s grandmother said at the time. “She’s very happy, and he is, too.”
In January 2019, the couple made their red carpet debut at the Screen Actors Guild Awards when Boseman was nominated for Black Panther.
Later that year, they were seen together again at the 2019 NAACP Image Awards where Boseman won outstanding actor in a motion picture for his performance in Black Panther.
The actor was seen kissing her before accepting the award onstage. He thanked Ledward for her support saying, “You know what they say. Black people always thank God when they win and I’m not going to let you down.”
“Thank you, God, for not just winning,” he continued at the time. “Thank you, God, for the trials and tribulations that you allow us to go through so we can appreciate these moments. So we can appreciate the joy that comes from winning.”
He added, “Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you.”
Ledward reciprocated the message, mouthing, “I love you” as she blew him a kiss.
Boseman was extremely private about his personal life, keeping his 2016 cancer diagnosis a secret until his death.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” his family wrote in their statement on social media Friday.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement continued. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”