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How Bethenny Frankel Is Coping After Dennis Shields’ Death (Exclusive)

Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel are seen leaving SoHo House on June 14, 2016 in New York, New York.Alessio Botticelli/GC Images

Finding her new normal. Bethenny Frankel is coping as well as she can following the death of her on-off love Dennis Shields.

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“Bethenny is absolutely devastated. She lost her best friend, her partner, her business partner. He’s family. His family is her family,” a source exclusively tells Us Weekly. “They’ve known each other over 30 years.”

“She is living her life because there is nothing else to do. You have to go on,” the source adds. “Everyone experiences loss and the only think you can do is pick yourself up and go on.”

Frankel, 47, and Shields started dating in 2016 after more than two decades of friendship. Us confirmed on August 10 that the 51-year-old was found dead at his room in Trump Tower. While the cause of Shields’ death is still under investigation, multiple outlets reported that the businessman died of a suspected overdose from prescription pills.

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A second source told Us on Monday, August 13, that Shields bought a ring and proposed to Frankel four months before his death.

Nearly a week after Shields’ death, the Real Housewives of New York City star was allegedly confronted by her ex-husband Jason Hoppy about the circumstances of their relationship. The exes, who share daughter Bryn were in court because Frankel previously requested for another trial to gain primary custody of the 8-year-old, per a source in the courtroom.

“It was reported that he died of an Oxycodone overdose. Our concern is while his death is very sad, this raises serious concerns about Ms. Frankel’s parental judgment,” Hoppy’s attorney Robert Wallack said to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Katz in court on Thursday, August 16. “Dennis Shields spent a great deal of time with Bryn and even cared for Bryn at times when Ms. Frankel wasn’t around. …  This doesn’t just constitute a lapse in judgment, this was just downright dangerous parenting.”

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The courtroom source added that “the minute the judge agreed” to a new trial, “Jason’s side brought up the Dennis stuff. … Once Bethenny got what she wanted, they didn’t think the was a good mom.”

According to the source, Frankel first filed the paperwork in December. She and Hoppy’s trial date is set for March.

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