Bethenny Frankel’s life has been a whirlwind of emotions since her fiancé, Dennis Shields, died at age 51 nearly seven months ago, and she recently detailed how she’s been getting through the tough time.
“I loved Dennis, and we talk about him a lot now, more [now] that the dust has settled,” the Real Housewives of New York City star, 48, told Us Weekly at Variety’s Power of Women event presented by Lifetime on Friday, April 5. “And grief is, like, it’s a crisis in and of itself, and we’re trying to survive and trying to feel, and you just wanna make yourself feel better in any way that you can. And now that months have gone by, I’ll have sad days.”
However, two constant reminders of happy times Frankel shared with the businessman lie within her canines. “My dogs Biggie and Smallz, he made me get both, he named them and he was obsessed with them,” the reality star recalled to Us. “So, he would be laughing. We were talking this morning about the fact that he’d be laughing that they’re now [social media] stars.”
Frankel also opened up to Us at the event sponsored by Audi about how she explained Shields’ death to her 8-year-old daughter, Bryn, whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Hoppy.
“My daughter’s an old soul, and she’s very adult and I’m honest with her,” the Skinnygirl founder simply said, sharing that it’s important to “surround” children with “love and support” during times of tragedy.
Shields was found dead in August 2018 inside his apartment in Trump Tower in New York City. Days later, Us confirmed that he had secretly proposed to Frankel four months prior.
The entrepreneur opened up about the proposal during a March episode of RHONY. “Dennis and I went out to dinner in April and he proposed,” Frankel said. “It’s funny because he said to me, ‘Well, did you say yes?’ And I said, ‘Well, I love you, and I can’t believe you did this, but we have to talk about some conditions and some terms and how things are going to change, issues I’ve had with partnership and consistency. It was all very complicated, and it wasn’t what a natural engagement should be. So our engagement was on ice.”
Frankel has since moved on and is currently dating businessman Paul Bernon.
With reporting by Marc Lupo
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