Bethenny Frankel, 47, opened up about her late boyfriend Dennis Shields at her first public appearance, a launch event for her Skinnygirl Jeans line in New York City, since his sudden death just over a month ago.
"It's definitely been a different kind of summer," she told ET Online on Sept. 12. "I am thinking about Dennis today. He would have been so happy about this launch. He was the most excited when I was working and successful."
Dennis, 51, was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in his apartment at Trump Towers on Aug. 10.
The "Real Housewives of New York City" star, who had a longtime friendship with Dennis before they began dating in 2016, knows that he would have been very supportive of her new venture into denim.
"He was a cheerleader, so he would have been counting the numbers and looking on the website and asking how many pairs of jeans and jean jackets we sold," she continued. "He is definitely with me here tonight."
But, Bethenny still admits that dealing with Dennis' shocking passing in the midst of launching her Skinnygirl Jeans collection, which was designed to be inclusive of a wide range of sizes, has been difficult.
"It's been very, very hard, I love him very much," she revealed to People mag during the kick-off gathering at Macy's Herald Square. "He's very much a part of me and he's very much a part of this [launch]. He was very involved in my endeavors."
The Skinnygirl mogul and mom, who has 8-year-old daughter Brynn Hoppy from a previous marriage, also described her grieving process following Dennis' death.
"It's like [hurricane] Florence," she explained. "It's a storm and you must go through it. It's not one of these things you can avoid and you have to go through it and deal with it and hopefully, you come out stronger on the other side."
Luckily, she's had a strong support system to help her through the tragedy.
"I have a lot of really, really close friends that came and stayed with me," she added, specifically mentioning her Bravo co-stars Sonja Morgan and Luann de Lesseps (from right).
"This summer Luann and Sonja came over and they both said to me separately, 'He was really your rock,'" Bethenny said. "So, I think they were a little worried about me because he really was and is [my rock]."
Bethenny filed for divorce from her ex-husband Jason Hoppy way back in 2013. But, she's been wrapped up in a tumultuous battle over custody of their daughter ever since.
She was even forced to face off with Jason in court just days after finding out about Dennis.
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