Chadwick Boseman married his longtime love Taylor Simone Ledward in the months before his death, according to the “Black Panther” star’s family.
While the couple were photographed together by the paparazzi and at Hollywood events over the course of their five year relationship, Boseman kept his private life private, including his secret battle with colon cancer.
91st Annual Academy Awards – Red Carpet (Getty Images)
Who is Taylor Simone Ledward?
Ledward, who is a trained singer, graduated from California State Polytechnic University Pomona in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry Studies.
It’s unclear how the couple met, however they were first spotted by paparazzi in 2015 at Los Angeles International Airport. On Friday, it was revealed that Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016.
In June 2017, Ledward and Boseman were snapped leaving the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” studio in Los Angeles after Boseman appeared on the show. In April 2018, Ledward’s grandmother confirmed that Boseman was in a relationship with her granddaughter, saying, “They respect each other. She’s very happy, and he is, too.”
At the NAACP Image Awards on March 30, 2019, Boseman kissed Ledward after his name was announced as the winner in the Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture category. He also gave Ledward a sweet shout out, acknowledging the relationship for the first time in public.
“Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you,” he said. Ledward proudly mouthed back the words “I love you” while Boseman stood onstage.
25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Fan Bleachers (Sarah Morris / Getty Images)
The couple reportedly got engaged October 2019 in Malibu, California. Boseman and Ledward were spotted at a Lakers-Clippers basketball game soon after and cameras captured a glimpse of the gorgeous engagement ring Boseman gave his bride-to-be.
They loved going to basketball games together. The last publicly available photo shows Boseman and Ledward sitting courtside at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16, 2020 in Chicago.
2020 NBA All-Star Game (Juan Ocampo / NBAE via Getty Images)
Boseman’s death was announced in a statement on Friday from his family, where Ledward was referred to as the late actor’s wife. He was 43 years old.
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,” it said. “The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
The couple have no known children. An Instagram page appearing to belong to Ledward is currently set to private, but in the bio it simply reads, “To thine own self be true.”