Taylor Simone Ledward and Chadwick Boseman.
Chadwick Boseman quietly married his long-term girlfriend in the final months of his life, the actor’s family has revealed.
On Friday evening, a statement was shared across Boseman’s social media channels announcing that the "Black Panther" actor had died following a four-year battle with colon cancer.
In the post, Boseman’s family seemingly confirmed that he had married Taylor Simone Ledward prior to his death, referring to her as his "wife."
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,” the statement read.
“The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Boseman, who was notoriously private about his personal life, had been dating Ledward since 2015, when they were first spotted together at Los Angeles International Airport.
The sighting came just after the singer graduated from Cal Polytechnic University Pomona in 2014, where she majored in music industry studies and was lead singer of the school jazz band.
She was then seen with Boseman again in 2017 as he appeared as a guest on US talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," and soon began regularly joining him at star-studded premieres including "Black Panther" and "21 Bridges."
In 2019, reports suggested that the couple was engaged but the rumours were never confirmed.
Both Boseman and Ledward’s family were supportive of the relationship, with the singer’s grandmother telling "Intouch Weekly" in 2018: “They respect each other. She’s very happy, and he is, too.”
The couple were photographed together several times over the years at Hollywood events and often sat courtside at NBA games.
Most recently, they were spotted in February at the NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.
At the NAACP Image Awards in March 2019, the pair shared a rare moment of public affection when Boseman kissed Ledward before going on stage to accept the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture.
“Simone, you’re with me every day. I have to acknowledge you right now. Love you,” he said in his acceptance speech.
When the cameras panned to Ledward, she could be seen mouthing back the words: “I love you.”
The cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been sharing tributes to Boseman following the news of his death, including Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo.
Actress Letitia Wright, who impressed as Shuri in Black Panther, says the thought of working on a sequel to the superhero adventure without the late Chadwick Boseman seems strange.
According to many sources of the media, the team is ready to begin shooting for the sequel.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said.
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