Businessman and banker Dennis Shields, the sometime boyfriend of Bethenny Frankel, died Friday at age 51, according to NBC. TMZ also reported his death, both citing anonymous law enforcement officials.
Shields, who made frequent appearances on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City,” on which Frankel stars, was reportedly found dead in his apartment in New York City of a suspected overdose.
A representative for the New York Police Department confirmed to HuffPost that there was a medical emergency at an address in Trump Tower, where Shields had an apartment, around 9 a.m., but would not release the identity of the victim. Police arrived after responding to an emergency call and discovered a man unconscious and unresponsive. EMS later pronounced him deceased on the scene.
A cause of death has yet to be determined. The entrepreneur’s assistant reportedly administered Narcan, an emergency treatment for narcotic overdoses, law enforcement sources told TMZ.
It’s unclear whether he and Frankel were currently romantically involved, but Shields did appear on an April episode of the long-running reality TV show, which she tweeted about, while the two apparently dined together.
Before entering into a relationship following Frankel’s contentious divorce from ex-husband Jason Hoppy, the two knew each other for nearly 30 years. Shields, the CEO of the company LawCash, previously dated and later married Frankel’s friend from high school.
The Skinny Girl founder seemingly opened up about their romance, which began in 2016, back in May on “The Steve Harvey Show,” describing their relationship as “a little bit like business” without mentioning him by name.
“I’ve been with someone on and off for years,” Frankel told the host, according to People. “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.”
The pair were linked again in 2017, with a source telling E! News, “They gave each other a little bit of space and now they’re back together having fun.”