Bethenny Frankel's On-Off Boyfriend Dennis Shields' Cause of Death Ruled 'Undetermined'
By Desiree Murphy
Dennis Shields' cause and manner of death are "undetermined," the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to ET on Wednesday.
"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 said in a statement.
Shields, who dated Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel on and off over the past few years, died on Aug. 10 at the age of 51. He was found unconscious and unresponsive in his apartment in Trump Tower by emergency personnel that responded to a 911 call. EMS pronounced him deceased on the scene.
A source told ET earlier this month that, prior to his death, Shields proposed to Frankel in April. "She wanted to marry him, but there were some things that needed to be worked out first and some hurdles to overcome," the source said. "He was her family, her best friend, her partner."
Frankel posted a sweet tribute to Shields on Instagram on Aug. 13, the day of his funeral in Long Island, New York. "Rest In Peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love. #nowandforever," she captioned the pic, which featured Shields lying in bed with her dog, Cookie, who died last October.
"It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so," she tweeted. "It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories. Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo."