Following reports stating that Dennis suffered a drug overdose after taking too much of his prescription pain pills, it has been confirmed that an autopsy on his body will not be performed.
On August 29, the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City explained that because of a religious objection to the autopsy, it was not conducted and Dennis’ cause of death has been listed as “undetermined.”
“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, MD, PhD, said in a statement.
In the state of New York, a religious objection will prevent an autopsy from taking place as long as authorities don’t believe a crime took place.
On August 10, the body of Dennis was discovered at his Trump Tower home and shortly after, TMZ reported the death as an oxycodone overdose. As the outlet explained, Dennis allegedly took an unknown amount of pills on Thursday night, August 9 and the following morning, August 10, he requested his housekeeper get him Narcan, which is used to reverse the effects of an overdose. Later that morning, a maid called 911 and EMTs attempted to get to Dennis to revive him. Unfortunately, it was too late.
Dennis was 51 at the time of his death and left behind his estranged wife Jill and their four kids. Dennis also left behind his Real Housewives of New York City star girlfriend, Bethenny, who he had been dating since 2016.
While Bethenny remained silent, at least for the most part, for weeks after Dennis’ death, she has since returned to her normal posting routine and shared a number of positive photos and videos earlier this week, including the one seen below.
In another post shared on her Instagram story, Bethenny told fans, “Mommy time heals all wounds,” as she spent time giving her two dogs, Biggie and Smallz, temporary tattoos with her daughter, eight-year-old Bryn.
Following Dennis’ death, Bethenny and her former husband, Jason Hoppy, attended a court hearing regarding the custody of their daughter Bryn and during the hearing, Jason’s attorney, Robert Wallack, attempted to use Bethenny’s boyfriend’s passing against her.
“Our concern is while his death is very sad this raises serious concerns about Ms. Frankel’s parental judgment,” Robert said in court. “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? This doesn’t just constitute a lapse in judgment this was just downright dangerous parenting.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo TV.
Photos Credit: DARA KUSHNER/INSTARimages.com, Bravo