Washington, who produced the Netflix film, said during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that he was impressed with the way Ledward doted on the Black Panther star. At the time, he was unaware that she was providing him with extra special love and care because Boseman was battling colon cancer.
“A credit to him. He kept it to himself,” Washington said of the fact that no one outside of Boseman’s circle knew of his health crisis. “It was nobody’s business. He was there to deliver and he delivered.”
Washington said the way Ledward looked after Boseman persuaded him to lightly push the star to marry her.
“Certain members of his team knew. His wife was there. They weren’t even married yet,” he added. “I used to watch how she took care of him. I actually said to him, I said, ‘Man, you need to put a ring on that finger.’ Because she kept her eye on him and she watched him. I’m like, man, she loves that guy. You know? But I didn’t know what we know now.”
The couple, reportedly together since 2015, had their engagement announced in November of 2019. The engagement news came about three months after filming for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom ended. It wasn’t until after Boseman’s death in August that it was revealed that he did marry Ledward. A statement announcing the news of the star’s passing read, “He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.” Ledward was recently appointed the personal representative of Boseman’s estate with limited authority after the star passed without a will in place.
As for his own relationship with Boseman, Washington first got to know the him well before his career took off. The Oscar winner helped pay for the late actor’s studies in college so he could take part in a drama program at Oxford University in England. In the years since, Boseman created quite the body of work, and now, an unforgettable legacy according to Washington.
“He did all he could do with what he was given and he left it here for us to enjoy,” he said. “Chad will live forever. Period.”
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Boseman’s final film, will premiere on Netflix on December 18.