Chadwick Boseman's Wife Simone Reflects on His Cancer Battle in First Interview Since Actor's Death

Two years after Chadwick Boseman's passing, his wife Simone Ledward Boseman is opening up about her journey with grief and sharing how she's carrying on the Black Panther star's legacy.

By Elyse Dupre Nov 01, 2022 5:57 PMTags
Watch: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Cast Remembers Chadwick Boseman

Simone Ledward Boseman is opening up about the life and legacy of her late husband Chadwick Boseman.

For the first time since the Black Panther star's 2020 passing following a private four-year battle with colon cancer, Simone is speaking out about her relationship with Chadwick and "the most challenging two years I've ever had in my life" following his passing.

"I can't believe that I was so lucky," she told Whoopi Goldberg in an interview that aired on the Nov. 1 episode of Good Morning America. "I can't believe that I got to love this person, and I also got them to love me too."

Speaking about Chadwick's cancer battle, Simone recalled how "things were really starting to spiral" after the coronavirus pandemic hit and discussed their decision to refrain from sharing his diagnosis with the public.

"That meant that everybody was in their house, and there was no pressure for anybody to go outside," she said. "It seemed like, 'Is this a crazy coincidence that we get to actually be inside? We get to be here with family, together. And everybody in the world is also experiencing this togetherness in the midst of this awful, scary, unpredictable time. We kept our circle real—our circle was basically a dot."

Chadwick Boseman's Best Roles

It was in the statement Chadwick's family released announcing the 43-year-old's passing in August 2020 that fans learned he had wed his longtime love Simone. According to GMA, they met after he played James Brown in the 2014 movie Get On Up, with the couple running into each other at a tribute concert in honor of the late singer at the Hollywood Bowl. 

"I met this person who is this wonderful man and he then ended up being a global superstar," Simone explained. "And really after Black Panther came out, it did kind of happen overnight."

Black Panther, the Marvel film in which Chadwick starred as the titular superhero also known as King T'Challa, premiered in 2018 and became a huge success, earning more than $1.3 billion worldwide and taking home three Oscars.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

At the premiere for the film's sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in October, many of the cast members paid tribute to Chadwick. His legacy also lives on through his many films—including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods and 42—and his wife Simone. 

Reflecting on her mourning process, she said, "Some days I'm doing worse than I'm really willing to acknowledge and other days I'm doing better than I feel comfortable admitting. You know, the grief it moves in."

His legacy is also carried out through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at his alma mater Howard University and the school's scholarship program. As Simone stated, "Taking this mantle and we are carrying it to as many voices as we can."

More of Simone's interview will air during 20/20 Presents Black Panther: In Search of Wakanda on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET and will stream the next day on Hulu.

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