RHONY Star Bethenny Frankel Began Dating Boyfriend Paul Bernon in 2017, Plus New Details About Ex Dennis Shields’ Death Revealed

by Lindsay Cronin Comments

RHONY's Bethenny Frankel Began Dating Boyfriend Paul Bernon a 'Year and a Half Ago,' Plus New Details About Dennis' Death

Bethenny Frankel and Paul Bernon didn’t start dating at the end of last year, as previously assumed. In fact, their relationship began far before they were first seen together.

During a court appearance on Tuesday, which was attended by Paul, the Real Housewives of New York City star revealed she and her current boyfriend first struck up a romance “a year and a half ago” as she battled her ex-husband Jason Hoppy for custody of their daughter.

According to Bethenny, she and Paul actually began dating in December 2017, just months before her late boyfriend, Dennis Shields, proposed. However, Bethenny and Paul were only together for about a month before calling it quits because Bethenny “wasn’t ready for that.” Then, “maybe a month after” Dennis’ death in August of last year, Bethenny began dating Paul yet again.

As fans will recall, Bethenny and Paul were first photographed together in October of last year but didn’t make their relationship Instagram-official until December during a trip to the Dominican Republic. The couple then rang in the New Year in Mexico with Bethenny’s eight-year-old daughter Bryn and Paul’s two children.

Also during her court appearance on Tuesday, Bethenny answered questions from Jason’s attorney, Robert Wallack, about Dennis’ death.

“The day before he was with a group of his friends on a boat and that he jumped and fell and hit his head and didn’t deal with it. That’s what his friends told me,” she revealed according to PEOPLE.

Dennis was found dead on August 10 of an apparent overdose but because of a “religious objection,” an autopsy was never performed.

According to Bethenny, she first learned of Dennis’ passing from his daughter, who told her that he suffered a heart attack.

“I think he had a murmur or something. I do remember he had some issues,” Bethenny said.

Although Bethenny never saw Dennis take opioids, she said she was unsure about whether or not he was an addict.

“Did the reports mentioning opioids come as a shock?” Robert questioned.

“Yes,” Bethenny replied.

Bethenny said that after hearing claims of a supposed overdose, she was “not sure” if she should believe them.

“I don’t trust everything I read, I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened in the middle of the night. And I had so many different things going through my mind about what could have happened,” she explained.

At that point, Robert told the court that Dennis had informed the responding officers that “he took a combination of oxycodone, Vicodin, and a sleeping pill” before his death. He was also believed to have asked his assistant to administer Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose, during his final moments alive.

“Did you know that his assistant carried Narcan?” Robert asked.

“No,” Bethenny replied.

The Real Housewives of New York City season 11 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo TV.

Photos Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo, Bravo TV.