The last words uttered by The Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel‘s on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields is giving insight into the reason he passed away after suffering an overdose last Friday.
According to a new report, Dennis admitted to using a lethal mix of drugs after EMTs and police arrived to his Trump Tower apartment before he died.
On August 17, TMZ shared new details regarding Dennis’ drug use, revealing the Big Apple businessman revealed he took his prescribed oxycodone pills, Vicodin and a sleeping pill before suffering a fatal drug overdose on August 10.
The 51-yr-old told the EMT workers he had been treating a back injury with his prescribed medication. However, as doctors will advise, it is never safe to mix opioid medication with sleeping pills or sedatives. Opioid medications slow respiratory function, which is the same thing sleeping pills do. So, when someone combines the two medications, death is a possibility.
Following his overdose, Dennis’ assistant attempted to reverse the drug overdose by administering two doses of Narcan. After EMTs and police arrived, they administered a third. Unfortunately, Dennis was too far gone at that point and he couldn’t be saved.
At the scene, police reportedly found a number of prescription bottles but no illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia were found.
In other news, a new report is examining whether Bethenny is truly at risk of losing custody of her 8-yr-old daughter Bryn, after her ex-husband Jason Hoppy raised the issue of Dennis’ drug use yesterday during the former couple’s custody hearing.
The exes currently have a 50/50 custody agreement in place but Bethenny requested full custody of Bryn last December after she accused Jason of stalking and harassing her. As reported, Jason copped a plea deal in the stalking case last October which allowed him to have all his charges dismissed as long as he didn’t contact Bethenny for six months.
During the custody hearing this week, Jason’s lawyer questioned Bethenny’s parenting judgement as he stated Bryn had been in the care of Dennis on more than one occasion.
“Dennis Shields spent a great deal of time with Bryn and even cared for Bryn at times when Ms. Frankel wasn’t around. Considering Mr. Shields’ addiction, what does that say about Ms. Frankel’s parenting that she would allow this person to care for her daughter?” Jason’s lawyer Robert Wallack said in court. “This doesn’t just constitute a lapse in judgment, this was just downright dangerous parenting.”
Well, PEOPLE magazine spoke to some knowledgeable family attorneys who say Dennis’ death from an apparent overdose could impact the custody battle.
Attorney Kenneth Eiges, who specializes in family law, says that Dennis’ interaction with Bryn is something “a judge would not look very kindly on.”
“I would just say that it’s a factor that the court would have to consider,” he stated, adding that it would also depend on how involved Dennis was in Bryn’s life overall.
Another family law attorney, Amanda L.F. Harris, added that Jason’s claims would be a hard sell because Dennis wasn’t living with Bryn and Bethenny when he died, and “Jason would have to demonstrate that Bethenny knowingly exposed her daughter to someone who was actively using a substance prescribed or otherwise illegally [acquired] essentially.”
She explained that Jason would need to prove, “1. That the child had been exposed. 2. That the boyfriend was using drugs in the presence of the child. [and] 3. That the child’s safety at any point was an issue.”
“If Jason was able to show any of that with Dennis Shields it could potentially impact custody, but it’s a lot to show,” she added.
As reported, the judge has set a March court date for the custody trial that Bethenny requested.
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