'RHONY' Star Bethenny Frankel Reveals Her Heartbreaking Reaction to Dennis Shields' Death

As The Real Housewives of New York City kicked off Season 11, Bethenny Frankel was still reeling from the death of on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields.

Shields died of a suspected overdose in his Trump Tower apartment in August 2018, which Frankel said she learned when his daughter Tyler called her "hysterically crying."

"I started screaming into the phone," Frankel recalled. "I've never in my life experienced this moment, this feeling, this hysteria."

Losing Shields was hard enough, but Frankel said seeing how his death affected 8-year-old daughter Bryn was another "sucker punch." She added that the little girl even texted Shields' old number a heartbreaking message: "Hi Dennis, how are you doing today? We miss you. Kiss. I and Biggie Smalls miss you as well. From, Bryn."

"She said, 'I miss you. I wish you were here today,'" Frankel added, beginning to cry. "It's so sad."

In the aftermath of Shields' sudden death, the SkinnyGirl mogul explained she has had to abandon looking for meaning behind his passing.

"You know, someone told me he fell the day before on a boat and then, did he take something 'cause he was in pain?" she told the cameras. "But it doesn't matter. He's dead. Like, it doesn't matter."

"Let's figure out what happened. Let me put the pieces of the puzzle together," she continued. "He wrote me 15 texts. He wanted to marry me. I had a ring on my finger. He's dead. It doesn't matter. He's gone. There's nothing to say."

Frankel and Shields had known each other for more than three decades, having met when they were in college and he was married to her high school friend. After the two split, Frankel and Shields' relationship evolved into a romantic partnership that was on and off for about four years before his death.

While Frankel has been open about her grieving process throughout, the Bravo personality has found a new partner in real estate developer and producer Paul Bernon, she confirmed on social media in December by sharing photos of the two celebrating Christmas in the Dominican Republic.

Since then, the two have shared a number of photos together on social media, both on vacation and out around town.


The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Photo credit: Alessio Botticelli / Contributor / Getty Images