‘Billions’ Season 4: Why the Premiere Is Dedicated to Dennis Shields

Billions has returned to pick up where it left off, but the show’s credits had an important message in the end. There was a card dedicating the episode to Dennis Shields, which some may remember as the man Bethenny Frankel was previously dating before his death. What is the connection between Shields and the show? Here is everything you need to know.

Dennis Shields was found dead in August 2018

Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel
Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel | Alessio Botticelli/GC Images

The CEO of the litigation-funding firm, LawCash was found dead in his apartment in Trump Tower. He reportedly died on August 10 at the age of 51, according to Extra. The cause of death was reportedly listed as “undetermined” because there wasn’t an autopsy, according to The Blast.

Shields lost consciousness after allegedly asking his assistant to administer Narcan, which is an emergency antidote to reverse an opioid overdose, according to the New York Post. It then reportedly failed to revive him. Shields is survived by four children.

Bethenny Frankel had an off-and-on-again relationship with Shields so he appeared on Real Housewives of New York. The two were reportedly considering marriage before his death.

He proposed to her with a ring in April. She didn’t wear the ring because they had some things to work out first,” a friend of Frankel revealed to People. “There were some hurdles to overcome before she could make that level of a commitment.  She loved him. He’s her family and her best friend and her confidante. Her partner and her business partner.”

Shields was close friends with Billions co-creator Brian Koppelman

Brian Koppelman tweeted a response to the news of Shields’ death. He revealed their close friendship.

“Dennis Shields, who died this morning, was my close friend for 30 years. One of the smartest, most generous, people I ever came across. He was also one of the great storytellers in the world. And understood life’s endless absurdity in his bones. I loved him. And love his family,” he tweeted.

Their friendship led to Shields having a small television part on one of Koppleman’s shows.

Shields had a cameo on The Girlfriend Experience

Koppelman later tweeted, “Dennis had a huge impact on my life. But also on my work w Dave through the years. Each of our movies contains a piece of him.” He went on with “There would be no Grama without him. No 500 fights. And definitely no guy in a diaper in The Girlfriend Experience (that was actually Dennis in a cameo).”

So it’s probably less of a surprise knowing this that there was a dedication to Shields reading “In memory of Dennis Shields” at the end of the premiere. Koppelman also tweeted, “Dedicated to Dennis Shields, our brother.”

Frankel also tweeted about mourning that day. “Mourning is tricky business. It’s like the weather. There can be weeks & weeks of sunshine then one day you get whacked with a storm,” the reality star wrote.

The newest season of Real Housewives of New York has premiered and it has been following Frankel’s process in mourning Shields’ death.

Read more: ‘RHONY:’ Bethenny Frankel’s Heartbreaking Text Messages to Dennis Shields Is a Healthy Way to Deal With Grief

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