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Bethenny Frankel and Dennis Shields Got Engaged Four Months Before His Death: He ‘Really Loved Her’

Heartbreaking. Bethenny Frankel’s on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields proposed to the reality star in April, four months before his death, a source close to Frankel confirms to Us Weekly.

Bethenny Frankel and Dennis Shields in New York City on June 14, 2016. Frank Lewis/

Related: Bethenny Frankel and Dennis Shields: Look Back at Their On-Off Relationship

The second source told Us on Monday, August 13, that the businessman had bought a ring and the two were secretly engaged and though “they were very back and forth,” the pair “were definitely making plans to move forward with things and trying to make it work.” The insider added that “Dennis really loved her.”

Another insider told Us that the pair had “talked about engagement a lot” last year.

Related: Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths of All Time

The news of their engagement comes just four days after Us Weekly confirmed the banker was found dead in his room at New York City’s Trump Tower. Shields was 51. The cause of death is still under investigation, though TMZ reports that he died of a suspected overdose from prescription drugs.

Earlier Monday, Frankel kept a “low profile” as she attended the funeral service for Shields, a source tells Us. She later broke her silence on the tragedy in an emotional Instagram post with a photo of Shields and her beloved dog, Cookie, who died last October.

The Skinnygirl founder captioned the sweet pic: “Rest In Peace my sweet babies who gave me endless unconditional love. #nowandforever”

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Five days before his death, Shields gushed over Frankel in an interview on the Listen Up Show With Mitchell Chadrow.

“She’s great. She’s a great mother. She’s a great person,” he said at the time. “She’s really, really smart. She is terrific in every way.”

He further spoke on their complicated relationship at the time, saying: “I’ve known Bethenny a very, very long time. I met her when we were both still in college, and my ex-wife [Jill Schwartzberg] and her were friends in high school. We remained friends the whole time that I was married — nothing but friends. And then right after Jill and I got separated, Bethenny and I started dating and we’ve been together on and off now for I think it was almost four years. That’s what she told me … but we do break up a lot.”

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