Dennis Shields, best known in celebrity gossip circles for his on-again/off-again relationship with Bethenny Frankel, was found dead in his Trump Tower apartment on Friday morning.
He was 51 years old.
According to The New York Post, Shields passed away due to a prescription pills overdose.
Insiders tell the newspaper that he knew something was very wrong shortly before he died.
Sources tell the publication that Shields asked his assistant to administer Narcan around 9 a.m. today, which is a medication used in order to reverse the affects of over-opioid consumption.
(Narcan has been in the news of late because it was also given to Demi Lovato by paramedics as soon as they found the singer unconcious from her own overdose last month.)
Sadly, however, Shields lost consciousness before the medication kicked in and he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Not many other details surrounding his death are available at this time.
Frankel and Shields began dating in 2016.
We started writing about him in June of that year, giving readers as clear an idea as we could about Shields.
We believe he was the first person Frankel started dating after she split from husband Jason Hoppy.
The late 51-year old found himself caught up in this ugly divorce after Hoppy sent Frankel an endless number of harrassing emails post-break-up, CCing Shields in the process.
At one point, Shields’ attorney sent Hoppy a letter accusing him of firing off 49 emails of “increasing frequency and hostility” in 70 days, TMZ reported back in late 2016.
This past May, the veteran Bravo star told Steve Harvey that her relationship with Shield was complicated.
“I’ve been with someone on and off for years,” she told the talk show host just a couple months ago, adding:
“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.”
Frankel and Shields actually first met nearly 30 years ago when he dated (and later married) one of her high school friends.
Although she didn’t stay in touch with her classmate, Frankel and Shields share other mutual pals and started dating several months after he separated from his wife.
Added Frankel to Harvey, when discussing her future with Shields:
“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.
“I haven’t said that to anyone yet.”
Bethenny was saying here that she really thought she might be committing to Shields in the near future.
The Real Housewives of New York City star also spoke about taking a break from Shields during the Wednesday, August 8, episode of the Bravo series, telling Dorinda Medley:
“I didn’t say it to Dennis, but in my own mind, I said, ’90 days. I’m not saying a word to Dennis for 90 days.’”
“It’s a really hard thing to realize that someone you love, it doesn’t mean they’re the right person.
“And I wish he was.”
Our heart goes out to her and all who knew and loved Dennis Shields.
May he rest in peace.
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UPDATE: “Preliminarily, we are investigating it as a possible overdose,” a NYPD spokesperson has simply said, while Dennis’ estranged wife, Jill, adds in a statement:
“We are all heartbroken. Dennis was, and will always be, the love of my life.
“His spirit lives on in our children.”
“Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.”
UPDATE: Bethenny’s co-star and sometime rival Carole Radziwill acknowledged Shields’ passing, saying the following:
“I just heard the sad news about Dennis. He was a good man. My condolences to all his family and friends. So tragic.”
Radzwill is the first of Frankel’s costars to speak on Shields’ passing, putting aside whatever issues she has with Frankel.
UPDATE: Sonja Morgan has now also spoken out about Shields’ death, telling Radar Online of Bethenny:
“Dennis is her rock. Dennis was important to her, and her daughter. Another tragedy in her life. I’m so sad for her.”
We feel the same way.
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