'RHONY' Star Bethenny Frankel Says Dennis Shields 'Fell and Hit His Head' the Day Before His Death

Bethenny Frankel is revealing more details about the circumstances surrounding on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields' death while testifying in an ongoing custody battle with ex Jason Hoppy.

In court Tuesday, the Real Housewives of New York City star was questioned by Hoppy's attorney, Robert Wallack, about Shields, who died in August 2018 at 51 of a suspected overdose.

Reported PEOPLE, Frankel learned from Shields' friends after his unexpected death "that the day before he was with a group of his friends on a boat and that he jumped and fell and hit his head and didn’t deal with it. That’s what his friends told me.”

An autopsy was not performed on Shields' body at the time of his death due to a religious objection from his family and has been officially ruled undetermined.

The Skinnygirl mogul added that when Shields' daughter called to tell her the tragic news, "She said he had a heart attack."

“I think he had a murmur or something,” Frankel told Wallack when asked about her knowledge of her late beau having any heart issues. “I do remember he had some issue.”

Asked about the businessman's alleged opioid use, Frankel said she never saw him take any, nor had he told her anything about taking them, responding, "I don't know," when asked if Shields had an opioid addiction.

“Did the reports mentioning opioids come as a shock?” Wallack asked the RHONY star, who responded, "Yes," before adding that she's "not sure" if she believed the reports, “because I don’t trust everything I read, I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened in the middle of the night. And I had so many different things going through my mind about what could have happened.”

While Shields told officers responding to his apartment he took a "combination of oxycodone, vicodin, and a sleeping pill” before he died, Frankel said she knew he had suffered a back injury but couldn't confirm if he was taking medication for the injury.

More details surrounding the couple's tenuous engagement also emerged in Tuesday's hearing, with the reality personality revealing her answer to his proposal was, "‘It’s amazing that you did this and it’s beautiful and it’s romantic, but we have to work out some issues before we can make this kind of commitment.'"


Frankel added that she didn't give a "yes or no" answer, but that he did give her and 8-year-old daughter Bryn, whom she shares with Hoppy, a ring to commemorate the question.

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