Bethenny Frankel Breaks Silence After Dennis Shields’ Death

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Following the sudden and tragic death of her on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has spoken out.

Frankel took to her Instagram to share a heartbreaking photo of Shields alongside her dog Cookie who sadly passed away in October at 17 years old.

“Rest In Peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love. #nowandforever,” she captioned the intimate photo.

Shields was found deceased inside his apartment on Friday, August 10 at the age of 51 and the death is being investigated as a possible overdose by the NYPD.

“We are all heartbroken. Dennis was, and will always be, the love of my life,” his estrangeed 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.”

Frankel and Shields began dating in 2016 and much of their on-off relationship was seen by fans of The Real Housewives of New York City.

What many didn’t know however is that Shields and Frankel were reportedly discussing marriage in the past few months and he even gave her an engagement ring. “He proposed to her with a ring in April. She wasn’t wearing the ring,” a friend told PEOPLE. “There were some hurdles to overcome before she could make that level of a commitment.  She loved him. He’s her family and her best friend and her confidante. Her partner and her business partner.”

“Very few people knew about the proposal,” the friend said. “He’s proposed before — but never with a ring.”

“She didn’t say no,” they added. “She would have loved to have married him, but there were some hurdles to overcome first.”

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