Bethenny Frankel’s ex-husband Jason Hoppy said he has “serious concerns” about the Real Housewives of New York City star’s “parental judgement” regarding their 8-year-old daughter Bryn after Frankel’s boyfriend Dennis Shields died of an alleged overdose.
“It was reported that he died of an Oxycodone overdose,” Hoppy’s lawyer Robert Wallack told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Katz in court on Thursday, August 16, Us Weekly can confirm. “Our concern is while his death is very sad, this raises serious concerns about Ms. Frankel’s parental judgment.”
“Dennis Shields spent a great deal of time with Bryn and even cared for Bryn at times when Ms. Frankel wasn’t around,” Wallack continued. “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.”
Us Weekly confirmed on August 10 that Frankel’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Shields was found dead at his apartment in Trump Tower. Four days later, a source told Us that the businessman, who started a romantic relationship with the reality star in 2016 after more than two decades of friendship, had proposed to Frankel in April.
Shields’ cause of death is still under investigation, but TMZ and Page Six reported at the time that the banker died of a suspected overdose from prescription drugs.
Frankel’s relationship with Hoppy, meanwhile, has been tumultuous since their 2012 split. The exes’ divorce was finalized in July 2016 after more than three years of custody and financial battles. Their relationship made headlines again in 2017 after Hoppy was arrested for allegedly stalking and harassing Frankel. The Skinny Girl creator was later granted a six-month order of protection against Hoppy.
A source in the courtroom told Us Weekly that the pair were in court on Thursday because Frankel previously requested for another trial to gain primary custody of Bryn.
“Bethenny, in Bryn’s best interest, asked for a new trial. The minute the judge agreed to that today, Jason’s side brought up the Dennis stuff,” the source said. “The judge said now you’re throwing ‘grenades.’ Jason and his team were OK with Bethenny as a mom when they walked into the courtroom, but then once Bethenny got what she wanted, they didn’t think the was a good mom.”
The source added that Frankel first filed papers in December. A new trial date has been set for March.
Hoppy’s attorney also accused Frankel of behaving inappropriately during a season 10 episode of RHONY titled “Holidazed and Confused,” which aired in May.
“There was a recent episode in which she appeared to be intoxicated. … She was running around without clothes on and then she passed out and it was said she passed out from mixing Ambien with alcohol,” Wallack claimed on Thursday. “Our concerns are whether Ms. Frankel may have some type of substance-abuse problems, so we would ask the court to order drug testing of Ms. Frankel to find out whether that’s an issue.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Frankel’s team for a comment.
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