Bethenny Frankel honored her late on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields during Father's Day.
The Real Housewives of New York City star took to Instagram Sunday to share a tribute to Shields — who was found dead in his Trump tower apartment on Aug. 10 from a suspected overdose — and said how grateful she was for his role in her daughter's life.
"Happy Father's Day," Frankel began her post. "In memory of Dennis, a man who was a father of five beautiful children and a beautiful influence in my daughter's life."
The photo showed Shields and Frankel's daughter Bryn at the beach. The Skinnygirl mogul met the 51-year-old banker nearly 20 years ago when he dated and later married Jill Schwartzberg, one of her friends from high school, PEOPLE writes.
Fans of the Bravo personality shared supportive notes her was in the comments section, praising her kind words for her late boyfriend.
"That was very cool to post In Memory of Dennis," one fan commented.
"What a beautiful testament to his impact on you and your daughter’s lives. No one truly passed away if we remember to pass them on," Another user wrote.
"So sweet. Not everyone’s father is biological. Seems like Dennis was an amazing father figure to Bryn. Your current boyfriend seems that way too. Not to mention, you are an amazing mother AND father to her," Another user wrote.
Frankel and Shields began dating in 2016, a few months after he separated from Schwartzberg and three years after she filed for divorce from ex-husband Jason Hoppy. Shields was still legally married to his ex when he and Frankel first began seeing each other, and he eventually proposed to Frankel last April.
Despite his close relation with Bryn, Frankel reportedly kept the engagement a sect and never gave him a clear yes, with the businesswoman saying she had told him things were on "ice: until some "conditions' had been met.
In a RHONY episode in April, Frankel opened up about wanting to "exit" her relationship with Shields just days before his death.
"He had such a powerful force in my life and my daughter loved it, that it was like this whole thing that was hard to extricate myself from," Frankel recalled.
She admitted to feeling guilty about wanting to leave after he was found dead.
"There was a lot in my mind about him dying right after that. I could not get off the ride. I feel guilty that the only way I got off the ride is that he's dead," she said during the April episode. "I hope I didn't have anything to do with him dying."0comments
Frankel has since moved on and is in a new relationship, though it is apparent she is still facing the aftermath of her feelings about Shields' death after she had a blowup fight with Luann de Lesseps in the latest episode of the Bravo series.
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
Hold on! Did you subscribe to GroupChat, PopCulture.com's official reality tv podcast yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
Listen to GroupChat Episode 3 as we delve into 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', baby 'Flip Flop', Farrah Abraham showing off all her assets and how Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev are dealing with being cut from 'Dancing With the Stars'! Don't miss an episode and join in on the conversation with #GroupChat. Make sure to tap that subscribe button now so you don't ever miss an episode!