Bethenny Frankel's Ex-Boyfriend Dennis Found Dead [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Bethenny Frankels Ex-Boyfriend Dennis Found Dead [Updated]
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The Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel’s “on and off again” boyfriend Dennis Shields was found dead at Trump Tower on Friday.

Sources tell The New York Post that Shields, who was a New York banker, had asked his assistant to administer Narcan this morning after believing he was overdosing from prescription pills. He reportedly lost consciousness and was shortly pronounced dead at the age of 51.

People reported that Shields and Frankel met nearly 30 years ago and had many mutual friends but did not start dating until 2016. In 2016 Frankel told People, “I love him, I care about him and he’s amazing. He’s supporting me—he’s here, which speaks for itself.” As of early 2018 the pair were no longer dating but the two were reportedly close friends.


Update, 3:25 p.m.: In an emailed statement Shields’ ex-wife Jill Schwartzberg Shields writes:

Dennis’ family is devastated by this terrible news. He was a loving father and friend. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this time of loss.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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“Dennis Shields had asked his assistant to administer Narcan around 9 a.m., believing he was overdosing on prescription pills, sources said.”

This is an extremely strange sentence. Why the use of the gerund on overdose? Makes it sound like he was continuing to take the pills as he feared overdose, which doesn’t make any kind of sense.

Also, the “asked his assistant to administer Narcan” is strange. Unless you’re already incapacitated, you can administer it yourself. It’s specifically designed to be able to be self-administered, or given by a witness who is probably also panicking and completely freaked out and utterly without medical training - it’s an idiot-proof nasal spray. If he was so bad off he couldn’t do it himself, he wouldn’t have been able to ask the assistant to do it - he’d be unconscious. Was he just asking the assistant to retrieve it from wherever it was stored?

Also, it’s strange the way it’s stated that he subsequently lost consciousness and was shortly pronounced dead. People die from overdosing on opioids chiefly by respiratory depression and failure. If he was alert and conscious enough to request the Narcan, he likely would have been resilient enough to hang on until first responders got there. Once he had respiratory support established, he probably would have been able to hang on long enough to get to the hospital and get acute care working. He would have been sick for a while, but seems like this should have been a survivable event. Something seems off about this.

Then again, maybe not, and the problem is just with shitty writing at the Post.