RHONY star Frankel and Shields had known each other for 30 years but didn't start dating until after their respective divorces in 2016. News that police were called to Shields' apartment on Friday morning and discovered him unconscious.
Our sources say they believe Shields OD'd on oxycodone ... but an autopsy is pending.
New York Police confirmed that a 51-year-old-man was pronounced dead at Shield's address, though could not share the individual's name yet.
Shields had recently spoken to tv host Steve Harvey to say that his relationship with Frankel was sometimes hard. According to reports, they were still together as of March of this year.
Jill was a high school friend of Bethenny's, which is how Bethenny and Dennis first met.
It's unclear whether he and Frankel were now romantically involved, but Shields did appear on an April episode of the long-running reality TV show, which she tweeted about, while the two apparently dined together. "His spirit lives on in our children". I'm so sad for her. "We ask that the media respect our privacy during this time of loss".
During a May TV appearance on the Steve Harvey Show, Bethenny opened up about her relationship with Dennis.
"We're trying to really kind of be good parents and good teammates and I think relationships oddly are - and this sounds cold - but a bit like business", she added. If both people aren't happy about it but slightly uncomfortable and giving up something or giving in [to] something, it doesn't work.