Bethenny Frankel of Real Housewives of New York has recently posted on social media about her vacation to Italy with boyfriend Paul Bernon. Over the weekend, the reality star again took to Instagram, this time to share a tribute to her ex-boyfriend Dennis Shields on the one-year anniversary of his passing.
Started with a friendship
According to Today.com, Frankel already had a strong friendship with Shields before they started dating in 2016, having met 27 years prior. Their romantic relationship began around the time Frankel’s divorce from her second husband, Jason Hoppy, was being finalized. “I feel like I survived something,” Frankel said at the time regarding her divorce. “When it all shakes down, I’ll be a woman who has not, kinda, just felt backed into a corner. I stayed strong, and I did what was best for myself, [for] my daughter, [and] for women.”
Shields was a New York banker, asreported by People, and had been separated fromhis wife of 26 years, who happened to be a high school friend of Frankel’s.Their dating relationship tended to be sporadic, but Frankel was evidentlyenjoying their time together when they were a couple. “I am in a reallyhappy place right now,” she told People at the time. “I haven’t been thishappy in a really long time. We have a lot of friends in common, and we’ve beenfriends for years. We’ve both been married and separated, so we’re a perfectmatch.”
She grieved his death
On August 10, 2018, Shields was found dead in his Trump Tower apartment due to an apparent drug overdose, as reported by Today.com. At the time Frankel shared her grief on Twitter. “It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so,” she posted shortly after his death. “It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories. Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo.”
The reality star took to Instagram on the one-year anniversary of Shields’ passing to share her memories and sadness on the loss of her friend and former flame. “One year ago today, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day with @biggysmallz by the pool, and my world crumbled and turned upside down in an instant. A man Dennis, who I loved and respected, who was in my life for 30 years unexpectedly passed away,” Frankel wrote.
She also told of Shields’ compassion by sharing a story of how her two dogs were adopted. “Dennis insisted we adopt biggy AND smallz for my daughter Peanut. He simply couldn’t imagine separating them. We racked our brains staying up late coming up with the perfect name for two dogs from the same litter with very different body types,” she wrote in her post. “Thing 1 & Thing 2 was an option but Peanut found it degrading. Lenny & Squiggy was a good one but I knew it would only appeal to the over 40 set. Then at 5am, Dennis was waiting for me to wake up and in his stronger than Tequila New Yawk accent said “BIGGY AND SMALLZ” and two stars were born. He loved these dogs and the feelings were mutual. They were particularly fond of his salty bald head. 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.”
Frankel concluded her post by saying she’s healing, but the feeling of loss remains. “I am a different person and in a different emotional place than I was a year ago, and the wounds have begun to heal but the scar will remain on my heart forever. RIP, August 10. #Unforgettable,” she wrote.
Despite her remaining grief, Frankel is clearly in a good place with Bernon. She recently spoke of her new boyfriend and their relationship on Live with Kelly and Ryan, saying, “My boyfriend’s very calm and centered and, yeah, balancing. And I’m just settled.”
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