Two days before her on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields died of an apparent overdose, Bethenny Frankel noted with regret on Real Housewives of New York that he’s just not Mr. Right — and now Shields’ friends are wondering if the admission set off a deadly tailspin.
“She [basically] said, ‘I love him, but I could never marry him,’” one friend said of Wednesday’s episode, in which Frankel told co-housewife Dorinda Medley she could never live with Shields.
Shields, 51, was found dead 9 a.m. Friday in his Trump Tower apartment.
He’d asked his assistant to give him Narcan — an emergency opioid antidote — but was dead when first responders arrived, sources said.
It will take some six weeks before toxicology results can confirm if Shields suffered from an opioid overdose, an investigative source said.
Before the latest episode, the millionaire investment banker had been gushing about Frankel and their tumultuous four-year relationship.
“She’s great. She’s a great mother,” he said on last Sunday’s “Listen Up Show with Mitchell Chadrow, a business podcast.
“She is terrific in every way,” he said.
“But we do break up a lot,” he added.
On Tuesday night, he was spotted in Manhattan, enjoying himself at the trendy new Flatiron District restaurant Kyma.
“He looked so happy and healthy and vibrant on Tuesday,” recalled a diner who asked not to be named.
On Wednesday, Season 10, episode 18 aired of Real Housewives of New York.
In one scene, Frankel is showing off her new luxury townhouse in downtown Manhattan to Medley. Frankel raves about her huge, “holy guacamole” walk-in closet, and the two sit down at the kitchen’s dining island to eat take-out salads.
Talk quickly turns to their love lives, and Frankel tells Medley she is taking a three-month break from Shields — not that she told him.
“And I didn’t say it to Dennis, but in my own mind, I said, ‘Ninety days. I’m not saying a word to Dennis for ninety days.’
“It’s a really hard thing to realize, that someone you love, is just — doesn’t mean they’re the right person,” Frankel says between forkfulls of salad.
“Yeah,” agrees Medley.
“And I wish he was,” Frankel adds. “And I may live here forever alone. And I’m OK with that.”
Medley rolls her eyes and says, “That I doubt.”
Frankel then deadpans, “Well, no, I’m not letting him share the closet.”
At least one of Frankel’s RHONY housemates has extended her sympathies.
Recently widowed Jill Zarin said Friday she was “devastated” for Frankel. “I know what it is like to lose someone so soon. It’s unbearable,” she told The Post.
“There is nothing worse than sudden death. You can’t prepare. There is no time to say goodbye.”
Additional reporting by Jennifer Gould Keil and Laura Italiano
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