Dennis Shields’ cause of death will remain unknown after an autopsy was not performed due to religious reasons.
“An OCME autopsy was not performed in this case due to a religious objection, upheld by law in such instances where no criminality is suspected,” Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, MD, PhD, said in a statement on Wednesday, August 29.
Shields, who dated Bethenny Frankel on and off for years, was found dead of an apparent prescription drug overdose at his apartment in Trump Tower in New York City on August 10. A source told Us at the time that Shields was “the nicest guy in that building.”
“He always stopped to say hello to police stationed at the tower and was so friendly,” the source explained. “Not many residents in that building say hi to people who work there, but Dennis was always different.”
A source told Us Weekly exclusively on August 16 that the 47-year-old is “absolutely devastated” after losing Shields, who proposed to her in April.
“She lost her best friend, her partner, her business partner. He’s family. His family is her family,” the source explained. “She is living her life because there is nothing else to do. You have to go on. Everyone experiences loss and the only think you can do is pick yourself up and go on.”
Us exclusively revealed earlier this month that Frankel has yet to sign on for season 11 of RHONY, which is set to begin production around Labor Day. The Skinny Girl creator has, however, slowly returned to social media and updated her fans about how is she coping.
“It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so. It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories,” she tweeted on Sunday, August 26. “Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo.”
The Bravo star has also turned to her 8-year-old daughter, Bryn, whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, during this difficult time. “Mommy time heals all wounds,” she captioned an Instagram Story on Tuesday, August 28, of herself and Bryn playing with their two dogs, Biggy and Smallz.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline.
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