Bethenny Frankel's On-Off Boyfriend Dennis Shields Found Dead of Suspected Overdose
Bethenny Frankel‘s on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields has died of a suspected overdose.
“We are all heartbroken. Dennis was, and will always be, the love of my life,” Shields’ wife Jill Shields said in a statement to PEOPLE. “His spirit lives on in our children. Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.”
A New York Police Department spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that a 51-year-old man was pronounced dead on the scene at Shields’ Trump Tower address. The NYPD could not share the individual’s name yet. “Preliminarily, we are investigating it as a possible overdose,” the spokesperson said.
“The medical examiner’s office is investigating the death of a man believed to be Dennis Shields, found at the Trump Tower. The investigation is ongoing, and we will release cause and manner of death when completed,” the medical examiner’s spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davis told PEOPLE.
According to the Post, the New York banker asked his assistant to give him Narcan, an emergency medication intended to reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose, but he lost consciousness before the medication could take effect. He was later pronounced dead.
Much of their on-off relationship was documented on The Real Housewives of New York.
But despite multiple breakups, Frankel and Shields remained close.
“Bethenny and her daughter Bryn love Dennis and his family and they have been a support system during her negative divorce and a positive influence in Bryn’s life,” a source previously told PEOPLE.
“They had a 27-year friendship before they dated so they picked that up where they left off once they realized they didn’t work as a couple,” the source said. “Her daughter adores him and his family, and she comes first above all.”
The duo first met about 28 years ago when he dated (and later married) Jill, one of her high school friends. Though she did not stay in touch with her classmate (“We’ve spoken three times in 25 years,” she previously told PEOPLE), Frankel and Shields shared other mutual pals and began dating in 2016, several months after he separated from his wife.