The on-again-off-again boyfriend of “Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel was found dead on Friday in Trump Tower in Manhattan, the medical examiner told Fox News.
Police told Fox News a man was found dead in the midtown New York City tower, but they declined to confirm his identity or the cause of death. The medical examiner told Fox News the man is Dennis Shields, 51, who has had a romance with the SkinnyGirl mogul since 2016.
The Medical Examiner’s office is currently investigating Shields’ cause of death. According to the New York Post, Shields, who was living at Trump Tower at the time of his death, asked his assistant to administer Narcan at 9 a.m. The Post reports he died of a suspected overdose.
Police told Fox News Shields was dead on arrival.
Frankel and Shields appeared together on Bravo’s “Real Housewives.” He was filmed with the popular cast member during the show’s most recent season.
A rep for Frankel did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment. She has been spending the past several days in her Bridgehamptons home, according to her social media posts.
Shields’ estranged wife, Jill Schwartzberg Shields, told Fox News in a statement, “Dennis’ family is devastated by this terrible news. He was a loving father and friend. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this time of loss.”
Frankel and Shields met in 1988 when he dated and eventually married the reality star’s high school friend, Jill. Frankel and Shields reconnected in 2016 after the banker separated from his wife.
Frankel most recently told Steve Harvey in May that she had a complicated relationship with Shields.
“I’ve been with someone on and off for years,” she said. “It’s like a partnership where if we’re not being teammates and it’s not working and one man is down, then the other man is down. We’re trying to really kind of be good partners and be good teammates and I think relationships oddly are — and this sounds cold — but a little bit like business. If both people aren’t happy about it but slightly uncomfortable and giving up something or giving in [to] something, it doesn’t work. So both partners have to say, ‘All right, I’m in it for this.'”
“And I think we might be at that point, believe it or not,” Frankel added. “I haven’t said that to anyone yet.”
The 47-year-old star told People in May that she doesn’t like to “get into” her love life in the press but she’s not “hiding.”
“[I’ve] been on and off in my relationship for so many years that I don’t love to get too into it in public, not because I’m hiding anything, more so because I never know exactly where it is, because it’s ever-shifting,” Frankel told the mag.
Frankel’s “Real Housewives” co-star Sonja Morgan called the news of Shields’ death” heartbreaking.”
“Dennis is her rock,” Morgan told Radar. “Dennis was important to her, and her daughter. Another tragedy in her life. I’m so sad for her…This saddens me to no end because it seems to be never-ending for her.”