Ex-Boyfriend of Bethenny Frankel Dies From Apparent Overdose

By Paul Gaita 08/14/18

Dennis Shields appeared on several "Real Housewives of New York" episodes alongside Frankel.

Bethenny Frankel

Dennis Shields, who dated the Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel, was found dead in his apartment in the Trump Tower from what police sources reported as a suspected overdose.

The 51-year-old, who appeared in several episodes of the Bravo reality show, was reported to have asked his assistant to administer the overdose reversal drug Narcan at around 9 a.m. on August 10; the New York Police Department confirmed that they responded to a 911 call that morning in regard to an unconscious male, who was pronounced "deceased on scene" by emergency medical services. 

The medical examiner's office stated that a report on the cause and manner of Shields' death will be released after completion of an investigation.

Shields was the CEO of the litigation-funding firm LawCash and oversaw several other finance-related companies. He had known Frankel for nearly three decades through her friendship with his wife, Jill Shields, and began dating her after their separation in 2016.

Their relationship traversed on-and-off arcs for several years, which was showcased on Real Housewives, and while the couple was reportedly apart at the time of Shields' death, a source reported that they remained close.

As both TMZ and the New York Post reported, a spokeperson for the NYPD confirmed that officers responded to a 911 call for an unresponsive male at Shields' corner apartment on the 42nd floor of Trump Tower at approximately 9:19 a.m. on the 10th.

Sources told TMZ that Shields had asked his assistant to give him a dose of Narcan before slipping into unconsciousness. The medication failed to revive him.

Emergency medical responders reported that Shields was pronounced dead at the scene; though cause of death was not given, sources told TMZ that oxycodone may have been involved in the overdose. According to the New York Times, it is not clear if the drug was prescribed for Shields.

In a statement to People, Shields' estranged wife, Jill Shields, said, "We are all heartbroken. Dennis was, and will always be, the love of my life. His spirit lives on in our children and our future grandchildren." She also posted photos of Shields and their four children on her Instagram account.

Frankel also took to Instagram to pay tribute to Shields. She posted a photo of Shields laying beside her dog with the caption, "Rest In Peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love. #nowandforever."

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.