'RHONY' Star Bethenny Frankel Struggles With Guilt Over Boyfriend Dennis Shields' Death

Bethenny Frankel is struggling with her mixed emotions in the wake of on-again, off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields' death.

In Wednesday's all-new episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, Frankel broke down in her session with a grief counselor over the unresolved issues she was having surrounding his death.

"I mean, it's really brutal," she says. "He was really someone that I went to for everything. So him being gone is a massive void. I really can't believe he's gone."

Shield died of a suspected drug overdose in his Trump Tower apartment in August 2018, but his cause of death was declared "undetermined" after an autopsy was not performed due to religious objection.

Frankel admitted that she was having a hard time with the pain that came from mourning Shields, despite their "not even close to a perfect relationship."

While the Skinnygirl mogul had previously revealed Shields had proposed to her shortly before her death, she said the engagement was on "ice" until some "changes" had been made.

The Saturday before Shields' death, she revealed she said, "I have to exit this dynamic."

"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 admitted.

"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 told the counselor, breaking down in tears. "I hope I didn't have anything to do with him dying."

"Dennis told me if we didn't work out, he was never going to be in a relationship again. He was going to be alone for the rest of his life," she later told the camera. "It was a tremendous pressure, and it kept me in. I don't know what happened that night ,and I will always have to live with that for whatever that means."

Moving on with her life months after Shields' death, Frankel explained, "I feel better, and I feel guilty that I feel better."

That being said, Frankel knew her romance with Shields wouldn't have been one that was fulfilling.

"Although I really loved him, my relationship with Dennis was not a healthy one," she said. "Whether we were going to end up together romantically or not, he was still my person."


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

Photo credit: Bravo