In August 2018, Bethenny Frankel’s on-and-off-again boyfriend, Dennis Shields, was found dead of an apparent overdose at his apartment in Trump Tower. His death has since been ruled “undetermined” by New York City coroners.
In late August, just days after Shields’ death, Frankel took to Twitter to write, “It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so. It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories. Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo.”
Frankel has continued to mourn her late boyfriend’s death. Earlier this week, she took to Twitter to write about the mourning process. “It’s like the weather,” the businesswoman explained. “There can be weeks & weeks of sunshine then one day you get whacked with a storm.” As E! points out, the tweet came after Billion creator Brian Koppelman dedicated an episode of the show to Shields.
Frankel and Shields went public with their relationship in June 2016, but the two had actually known one another for nearly 30 years before they began dating.
In 1990, Shields wed Jill Schwartzberg. The couple separated in 2016– they are reported to have separated months before Shields started seeing Frankel. Frankel was married to Jason Hoppy until 2013.
The couple did their best to keep their relationship quiet while they were together. In an episode of RHONY last season, Frankel shared of Shields, “Dennis and I have a very independent relationship. Everyone wants us to define what it is, it’s not definable.”
She continued, “We love each other but the two of us have schedules that are off the charts insane. I’m okay with it being totally gray.”
In December 2016, Frankel opened up a bit more about her relationship with the late New York banker at an event. She shared with People, “I love him, I care about him and he’s amazing. He’s supporting me — he’s here, which speaks for itself.”
Shields, himself, even told People of the relationship, “It’s great.” Asked what his favorite thing about Frankel was, he shared, “Everything… She’s funnier in real life than what you see. Everything is an adventure, no matter what you do.”
In September, one month after Shields’ passing, Frankel spearheaded many Hurricane Florence relief efforts in honor of her late boyfriend. She is quoted by People as saying, “He loved this part and he was a doer… And so we would have been talking about this exactly right now. So I’m thinking of what he would have inspired me to do and say. This is for Dennis also.”