'RHONY': Bethenny Frankel Reveals Her Final Words to Late Boyfriend Dennis Shields (Exclusive)
By Brice Sander
Bethenny Frankel returns to Housewives in tears.
In ET’s exclusive first look at The Real Housewives of New York City’s season 11 premiere, Bethenny catches up her friends -- and viewers -- on the events that went down in her life since the season 10 reunion. Namely, the August 2018 death of her boyfriend, Dennis Shields. While the New York City Medical Examiner ultimately listed Dennis’ cause of death as “undetermined,” authorities initially suspected it was an accidental overdose.
“Dennis passed away three weeks ago in his apartment,” Bethenny recounts. “Tyler, his daughter, called me, hysterically crying and she said, ‘My dad died this morning.’ And I started screaming into the phone.”
“The Bryn element was another suckerpunch,” Bethenny goes on to say, referencing her 8-year-old daughter. “She said, ‘Mama, does Dennis still have a phone number?’”
Bethenny told her daughter that, yes, Dennis still had a phone, and shared the final message she sent to him: “I love you, Dennis, and I always will. You’re the most loving, beautiful man in the whole world and I’m sorry you were in so much pain. Now, you can really sleep.”
“So, she goes, ‘I wanna text him,’” Bethenny recalls. “So, [Bryn] texted under that, ‘Hi with a hand [emoji], Dennis, how are you doing today? We miss you. Kissy face. I and Biggie/Smalls [Bethenny’s dogs] miss you, too -- from Bryn.’ And then yesterday morning she goes, ‘Do you think Dennis got my text?’”
Bethenny starts to tear up as she shares Bryn’s words to Dennis, admitting to her friend that her daughter’s texts “break my heart.”
Check out the emotional clip here:
“And then she said, ‘I miss you. I wish you were here today,’” Bethenny continues. “It’s so sad.”
“I’ve never in my life experienced this moment, this feeling, this hysteria,” she adds in a confessional. “You know, someone told me he fell the day before on a boat and then, did he take something ‘cause he was in pain? But it doesn’t matter. He’s dead. Like, it doesn’t matter. Let’s figure out what happened. Let me put the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Bethenny begins to cry, rambling off a stream of consciousness that reveals what was going through her mind in the days after Dennis’ death. In the monologue, Bethenny appears to suggest she and Dennis were talking marriage before his passing.
“He wrote me 15 texts,” she says. “He wanted to marry me. I had a ring on my finger. He’s dead. He’s gone. It doesn’t matter. There’s nothing to say.”
From what Bethenny’s co-star, Luann de Lesseps, tells ET, it will be an emotional season for them both.
“I'm there for Bethenny, and she's been there for me in a big way,” she says. “When you have traumatic things like that happen in your life, girlfriends support you and that's what you're gonna see. You're gonna see support… and then you're gonna see whatever is going to unfold as usual on the Housewives.”