Bethenny Frankel is looking back on the tragic loss of her former boyfriend, Dennis Shields.
On the one-year anniversary of his passing, August 10, the Real Housewives of New York City star took to her Instagram page and shared a heartfelt statement with her fans and followers about the moment her entire world crumbled.
“A man Dennis, who I loved and respected, who was in my life for 30 years unexpectedly passed away,” she recalled.
Frankel and Shields dated on-and-off for two years before he was suddenly found deceased at his apartment in New York City. It was later reported that he had suffered an alleged drug overdose after he supposedly took too much Oxycodone.
According to a report from TMZ, Shields took an unknown amount of his pain pills on a Thursday night before waking up hours later feeling sick. Right away, the businessman reportedly told his housekeeper to buy Narcan at a local pharmacy. However, by the time she got back with the drug, which combats the effects of an opioid overdose, it was too late.
Continuing on in her Instagram post, Frankel said that she and Shields adopted two dogs together, Biggy and Smallz, for her daughter Bryn because he didn’t want to separate them due to the fact that they were from the same litter. Although they considered a number of different names, including “Thing 1 [and] Thing 2” and “Lenny and Squiggy,” Shields ultimately awoke in the early morning hours and declared their names as Biggy and Smallz.
“He loved these dogs and the feelings were mutual. They were particularly fond of his salty bald head,” she said. “At times, it seemed like he and they spoke the same language and they were the only ones who understood him. He was a loving, sweet, gentle, brilliant, complicated, hilarious, creative and supportive man. He is missed terribly by so many but lives on in his friends and family and furry loved ones.”
In closing on her Instagram post, Frankel told her online audience that she was a different person today, and in a much different place, but still feels the scars of Shields’ devastating passing.
Currently, Frankel is dating film producer Paul Bernon, who she first went public with in October of last year, and recently, the couple enjoyed a romantic getaway in Italy, where they posed for several photos with one another, some of which were shared on his birthday.
Frankel and her co-stars are expected to begin production on the upcoming 12th season of The Real Housewives of New York City in the coming months.