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Bethenny Frankel, Dennis Shields

AKM-GSI

Bethenny Frankel is publicly clearing the air about her criticized romantic life. 

The 45-year-old star of the Real Housewives of New York has been the subject of heated personal debate since she started dating New York banker Dennis Shields

"They've been dating since at least the holidays," a source confirmed to E! News in early June, adding that the couple went on vacation with co-star Carole Radziwill and her boyfriend Adam Kenworthy

While her beau has kept clear of the cameras, Shields has still become a major point of contention between Frankel and her reality co-star, Luann de Lesseps. While Frankel attacked the newly engaged woman for dating a man that co-star Ramona Singer had also went out with, Lesseps shot back at the claims, telling E! News, "She calls me a hypocrite, but really she's the hypocrite. I'm the one getting married, I'm engaged, and Bethenny's still trying to get a divorce."

"You know, it was in the Daily Mail...she's dating married men, not me," she continued.

Real Housewives of New York City Season 8

Bravo

While her official divorce from her estranged husband Jason Hoppy is still ongoing, Frankel recently took to Twitter to offer a clear explanation of her relationship status. "I'm dating a separated married man," she tweeted Tuesday, referring to Shields, who previously married Jill Schwartzberg in 1990 when he was 23 years old. The tweet was a response to fans who attacked her on social media for questioning Lessep's personal life. 

"I'm married. I went to high school w his ex wife 30 yrs ago. Any other questions?" she added.

Frankel echoed the statement days earlier when Lesseps first accused her of dating a married man to E! News. "She's correct," Frankel admitted at the time. "I'm legally married too!"

However, despite all the dating drama, the mogul maintains she still has a special place in her heart for the bickering co-stars. 

"You'd be surprised at how much I care about them," Frankel tweeted. "We've been through a lot. #donthatetheplayahatethegame"

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)