Bethenny Frankel is in mourning.
The Real Housewives of New York City star, 47, broke her silence about the sudden death of her on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields. On Monday, she posted on Instagram a photo of Shields sharing a bed with her dog Cookie, who died in October at the age of 17. “Rest In Peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love,” she wrote.
Earlier in the day, the Bravo star was photographed looking emotional at Shields’s funeral, which was held on Long Island. It was raining, she was crying, and a friend was embracing her.
Shields, the CEO of LawCash, was found unresponsive after a suspected overdose at his apartment at Trump Tower in New York City on Friday. According to multiple reports, Narcan, which works to reverse an overdose, was administered on the scene, but it was unsuccessful. Shields was 51.
Frankel dated Shields, who was rarely seen on RHONYC, after her split from Jason Hoppy. However, their history spanned decades because she and Shields first met about 30 years ago when he dated one of Frankel’s high school friends — and later married her. While Frankel mostly lost touch with the friend, Jill Shields, she and Dennis had mutual friends, and once their respective marriages ended, they started dating in 2016.
At one point, Frankel was seen sporting a large sparkler, leading to engagement rumors, but they never made it official. In February, they were no longer together (“They realized they didn’t work as a couple,” a source told People.), but they were on good terms because he had been instrumental in helping her and her daughter, Bryn, cope with her horrible divorce.
By May, however, it seemed like they were trying to work things out. “I’ve been with someone on and off for years,” Frankel said on the Steve Harvey Show. “It’s like a partnership where if we’re not being teammates and it’s not working and one man is down, then the other man is down. We’re trying to really kind of be good partners and be good teammates, and I think relationships oddly are — and this sounds cold — but a little bit like business. If both people aren’t happy about it but slightly uncomfortable and giving up something or giving in [to] something, it doesn’t work. So both partners have to say, ‘All right, I’m in it for this.’ And I think we might be at that point, believe it or not. I haven’t said that to anyone yet.”
On Friday, Shields’s wife, Jill, (and Frankel’s former classmate) — whom he separated from but never divorced — released a statement, saying, “We are all heartbroken. Dennis was, and will always be, the love of my life. His spirit lives on in our children. Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.”
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