The sudden death of Dennis Shields — the on-again-off-again beau of Real Housewives of New York star, Bethenny Frankel, has sparked multiple reports about the complicated romance. Bethenny appeared to set the record straight while Bravo cameras rolled — in a scene featured in an episode aired only two days before Shields’ death.
“I didn’t say this to Dennis, but in my own mind I said 90 days. I’m not saying a word to Dennis for 90 days,” Bethenny said in an exchange with co-star, Dorinda Medley. “It’s a really hard thing to realize that someone you love doesn’t mean they’re the right person. I wish he was.”
Despite Bethenny’s filmed commentary, a friend told People Mag that Bethenny’s biting conclusion was not the final word.
The source said that Shields proposed to Bethenny in April — and even wanted to put a ring on it.
“He proposed to her with a ring in April. She didn’t wear the ring because they had some things to work out first,” the friend reported. “There were some hurdles to overcome before she could make that level of a commitment. She loved him. He’s her family and her best friend and her confidante. Her partner and her business partner.”
The friend added that Bethenny kept the offer hush-hush, and that “very few people knew about the proposal.”
“She didn’t say no,” the friend added. “She would have loved to have married him, but there were some hurdles to overcome first.”
Despite the push-and-pull, the friend insisted that the love relationship was real.
“She talked to him this past week. He loved her and she loved him,” the insider said. “She would have loved to have married him, but they were still working through their issues. She wanted to make it work.”
Shields weighed in on the shaky love affair on Mitchell Chadrow’s “Listen Up Show” podcast, recorded only days before his death. “About four weeks ago we were still together,” Shields quipped. Press play below.
Shields’ supposed proposal was set against one obvious roadblock — the fact that he was still married to his wife, Jill Shields. Jill referred to him as the “love of my life” after the news broke of Shields’ death. The couple separated in 2016, but had not divorced.
The question asking if/how the rocky romance Shields shared with the Bravoleb connects to the banker’s suspected prescription drug overdose, remains a hotly debated topic on social media.
The Real Housewives of New York airs Wednesday nights, on Bravo.