Who Is Sandra Lee's Rumored Boyfriend, Ben Youcef?

Lifestyle guru Sandra Lee is having the best summer of her life, two years after her split from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. According to People, Lee's reported new beau, Ben Youcef, appears to make her happy. The beloved Food Network star is dating for the first time after her 14-year relationship with Cuomo. The New York Post reported that Lee was devastated after the breakup, moving to Malibu, Calif., in 2019.

The Daily Mail reported that Lee wanted to marry the New York governor during their 14 years together. But Cuomo reportedly told Lee and their friends that he didn't feel right getting married again due to his Catholic faith. The British outlet noted that Lee hoped she and Cuomo would eventually marry, even choosing an engagement ring. The New York Post also reported that the chef and cookbook author played a big role in helping Cuomo raise his three daughters: Michaela, Cara, and Mariah. After the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo became public, stories circulated about his rumored affairs while he and Lee were together. An ex-aide told the Post, "It was an open secret. Andrew was sleeping with at least one other woman who wasn't Sandra." One of Cuomo's ex-staffers told the outlet, "Andrew's treatment of Sandra is part of the puzzle that will finalize the picture about this guy."

On July 31, People reported that Lee was vacationing in St. Tropez with a new beau. Keep reading to find out about Lee's rumored new boyfriend Youcef!

Ben Youcef is an actor, producer, and nonprofit leader

Ben Youcef's IMDb bio gives us a peek at Sandra Lee's rumored new beau, an actor, producer, and nonprofit leader. According to IMDb, Youcef is the son of a diplomat and is considered the "go-to consultant & voice-over expert for all five Arabic dialects" in film and television. In addition to the actor's many TV roles, Youcef is the lead Arabic voice for "Call of Duty," "Medal Of Honor," and "X-Men: Apocalypse." In 2014, Youcef made headlines for the film he wrote and starred in, "The Algerian." The actor has two children; he and his wife filed for divorce in January 2020, per People.

People reports that Lee and Youcef met at a Santa Monica restaurant in March 2021. A source told the magazine, "It's very early, but they seem to have an undeniable connection... both are taking things slowly and enjoying getting to know each other. He's become her friend and loving confidante quickly."

A source also revealed to Page Six, "Ben is a serious and accomplished nonprofit Interfaith leader providing the call to prayer heard all around the world. He is as beautiful inside as he is outside — they make a gorgeous couple. They're both extremely spiritual." But while Lee's life is going well, the same cannot be said of her ex, Andrew Cuomo. New York Attorney General Letitia James' independent investigation found that the governor allegedly sexually harassed 11 women, per The New York Times

Ben Youcef is 13 years younger than Sandra Lee

While sources have told People and Page Six that Sandra Lee and Ben Youcef's rumored relationship is going well, the chef reportedly resisted the actor at first. "Ben is 13 years her junior, and Sandra struggled with the age difference refusing to date him at first. Ben was patient and reassured her that age is just a number," a source told People.

"I think she needed someone completely different from Andrew. It took her two years for her to even consider dating again as she wanted to be sure she could make herself happy and to heal before she brought someone in her life," another source told the magazine. 

Lee has also stayed above the fray surrounding her ex, remaining silent about Cuomo's scandal. A source told the New York Post that the governor's daughters, Michaela, Cara, and Mariah, are Lee's main concerns in the wake of the allegations.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).