Bethenny Frankel has been battling her ex-husband, Jason Hoppy, in court for years and this past year, she had to deal with the death of her on-again-off-again ex Dennis Shields. Shields appeared on the Real Housewives of New York City just a couple of times, as Frankel kept their relationship away from the cameras.
According to the New York Times, Shields reportedly collapsed inside his home at Trump Tower, in New York City, after asking his assistant to buy him Narcan after he took too much OxyContin. Shields then passed away. According to The Blast, Shields’ cause of death has been listed as “undetermined” because no autopsy was performed. NYC Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson told The Blast, “An OCME autopsy was not performed in this case due to a religious objection, upheld by law in such instances where no criminality is suspected.” Shields died on August 10, 2018.
Read on for further details on Frankel’s relationship with Shields, as well as her new found love with Paul Bernon.
Bethenny Frankel & Dennis Shields Weren’t Officially Engaged
On the premiere of this past season of RHONY, Frankel implied that she may have been engaged to Shields when she said, “He wanted to marry me. I had a ring on my finger. He’s dead. He’s gone. It doesn’t matter. There’s nothing to say.” Then, Andy Cohen asked her about it on the show’s reunion and Frankel was back and forth with her answer. Though Frankel may not have considered herself officially engaged, she said, “He proposed and I was saying … ‘Okay, I’m accepting this ring and let’s see.'” She then went on to say, “Truthfully, when you’re older, you don’t know if you’re going to get your big fairytale. Because I had this security presence in Dennis, where if it was Thanksgiving and I was going to be alone I could always be with him, I wasn’t giving myself what I deserved in a relationship,” according to People.
Also on the show, Frankel showed her grief over the loss, confessing, “I’ve never in my life experienced this moment, this feeling, this hysteria. You know, someone told me he fell the day before on a boat and then, did he take something ‘cause he was in pain? But it doesn’t matter. He’s dead.” She continued, “Like, it doesn’t matter. Let’s figure out what happened. Let me put the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Paul Bernon Saved Bethenny Frankel’s Life
A few months after Shields died, Frankel began dating a new man named Paul Bernon, who she knew prior to Shields’ death. Unlike Shields, Frankel has not wanted her new boyfriend to appear on her reality show, as she revealed on the RHONY 2019 reunion. But, she has spoken about him several times on the show. In fact, she talked about a terrifying incident where he saved her life.
Frankel had an allergic reaction to a soup at a restaurant and, with Bernon’s fast actions, she was able to escape death, as reported by Page Six. Without naming her boyfriend on Twitter, Frankel tweeted about the incident, writing, “I was with someone who went to get me a Benadryl & returned & I was unconscious. He managed to call 911 & get pill down my throat with water. He saved my life.”
According to People, Bernon works as a real estate developer and film producer. He is a Managing Partner at Rubicon Real Estate, LLC and the Co-Founder and Partner of Burn Later, as listed on his LinkedIn account. Bernon resides in Massachusetts, so, he and Frankel carry on a long-distance relationship.
On Live! With Kelly and Ryan, Frankel gushed over her new man and how he’s helped keep her grounded. Frankel said, “My boyfriend’s very calm and centered and balancing and I’m just settled. I came off a relationship that was the opposite … and because I’m older I wasn’t sure that I could have that kind of normal, beautiful, loving relationship that you remember from high school or college and that’s what it feels like.”