Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel arrived at a Long Island cemetery Monday to say goodbye to Dennis Shields, her off-and-on boyfriend, who died late last week. After the ceremony ended, the 47-year-old reality star uploaded an Instagram picture of him in bed with her 17-year-old dog, Cookie, who also died last fall following a major seizure. “Rest in peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love,” she said. “#nowandforever.”
Shields, 51, was found dead in his Trump Tower apartment at 9 a.m. Friday, after he allegedly asked his assistant to give him Narcan in order to save his life. According to The New York Post, which broke the news of Shields’ death, the banker went unconscious before the drug took effect. The medication, inhaled through one nostril, immediately restores normal breathing for between 30 to 90 minutes in a person who has overdosed on fentanyl, heroin and prescription painkillers. But, a police spokesperson said, his cause of his death remains under investigation.
A source close to Frankel told E! News she is distraught over his death. “This is really bad. It’s dreadful. She’s known him for over 20 years,” the source explained Friday. “She’s heartbroken.”
Not too long ago, Shields was singing Frankel’s praises publicly.
“She’s great. She’s a great mother,” Shields said in a recent episode of the business podcast Listen Up Show With Mitchell Chadrow. “She is terrific in every way. But we do break up a lot.”
Shields’ estranged wife, Jill Schwartzberg Shields, also issued a statement to E! News late last week. “Dennis’ family is devastated by this terrible news. He was a loving father and friend,” Schwartzberg Shields said. “We ask that the media respect our privacy during this time of loss.”
She later paid tribute to the man she called “the love of my life” on Instagram. “I will miss you every day. Forever your legacy will live on in our children and our future grandchildren. Your intelligence, humor and of course your good looks will forever be engrained in our family! Even though we did not live together, you still remained my best friend and my husband. Not many people were able to grasp our situation, but it worked for us. We spoke every day. I will miss that! I love you my dear husband. I am hoping up in heaven you are running around playing basketball and tennis without any back pain,” she said Saturday. “See you again in forty years.”
Carole Radziwill, Frankel’s frenemy and departing Real Housewives of New York City co-star, was among the first to express her condolences. “I just heard the sad news about Dennis. He was a good man,” she tweeted Friday. “My condolences to all his family and friends. So tragic.”