Bethenny Frankel shared a touching photo of her on-again, off-again boyfriend of several years, Dennis Shields, after he died on an opiate overdose Friday at age 51. The 47-year-old business model and Real Housewives of New York City star shared the pic of Dennis and her deceased dog Cookie lying in bed together with the hashtag #nowandforever.
Bethenny had actually known Dennis since 1988, when he dated and married her friend Jill Schwartzberg Shields. He split with Jill in 2016 and began dating Bethenny, who acrimoniously split divorced from Jason Hoppy in 2013.
Jill and Dennis were technically still married at the time of his death, and were on good terms together. Jill also shared a public tribute to her husband of 26 years and father of her four children: “To the love of my life- Dennis-I will miss you every day. Forever your legacy will live on in our children and our future grandchildren,” Shields wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. “Your intelligence, humor and of course your good looks will forever be engrained in our family!”
“Even though we did not live together, you still remained my best friend and my husband. Not many people were able to grasp our situation but it worked for us,” she clarified oin her post. “We spoke everyday. I will miss that! I love you my dear husband. I am hoping up in heaven you are running around playing basketball and tennis without any back pain. See you again in forty years xo.”
Instagram post has been deleted.
Before he died in his Trump Tower apartment, Shields reportedly asked his assistant to administer Narcan, a name brand version of naloxone, which is an anecdote for opiate overdose that can help restore normal breathing. Opiates can cause death by slowing down respiration. Naloxone can help restore normal breathing by binding with the opiate receptors in the brain for 30-90 minutes, but if there is enough opiates in a person’s system, they can still be at risk for overdose.
Police are still investigating his death, but according to The New York Post, it’s believed he died of a suspected OxyContin overdose. He was CEO of the litigation-funding firm LawCash and he also helped found Esquire Bank and investment startup YieldStreet.
Amelia Cunningham is a Starcasm writer and editor