The Rumor About Sandra Lee She Doesn't Want You To Remember

As a former host of numerous television series on channels such as the Food Network, Sandra Lee has climbed her way up to become an internationally acclaimed food and lifestyle expert. While in the spotlight, she created the concept "semi-homemade," which focuses on using 70% pre-made products and 30% fresh items. Additionally, the TV personality has made an accumulated fortune estimated near $20 million off her knack for cooking, decorating, and entertaining, per Celebrity Net Worth. The celebrity chef is also an author who has written 27 books, including her 2007 memoir "Made from Scratch." In her memoir, Lee reveals overcoming obstacles including food insecurity as a child, to becoming a chef and an Emmy winner, as per the Food Network.

She has been in the spotlight for decades, but that can come with its setbacks. Some of Sandra Lee's acquaintances opened up about her past dating history and Lee's alleged idea to write a book on "how to steal a married man," per New York Magazine.  And it appears Lee's rumored romantic reputation has a reasoning behind it.

Why does Sandra Lee have this dating reputation?

In the '90s, chef and author Sandra Lee was living in Los Angeles, enjoying her newfound fame and scoping out the dating scene. New York Magazine alleged she "took a particular interest in men who were already attached." The magazine talked to people who knew Lee behind the scenes, with one acquaintance adding that Lee joked "more than once" about writing a book on married men. This associate claimed Lee's motto was: "if a man could be had, then he wasn't committed." That's when rumors started flying about the "semi-homemade" originator's intentions to attract romantic attention and her "particular" interests, which she claims are "preposterous."

While the internationally acclaimed home life expert neither confirms or denies these rumors, she does have a reputation for dating men who are still married. This includes her ex-husband Bruce Karatz, whom she was married to from 2001 to 2005. The chef's current fiancé, actor Ben Youcef, is nine years younger than Lee and, as reported by the Daily Mail, is still married to real estate broker Apryl Stephenson. The exes are currently in a custody dispute over their five-year-old twins.

Behind Sandra Lee's dating history and her past with married men

Despite rumors early on that she sought after married men in her romantic life, Sandra Lee didn't let that stop her from pursuing her ex-husband, Bruce Karatz, who was, as per New York Magazine, still married when the two met in 1999. Their relationship started when Lee was the spokesperson for the company Karatz was working for at the time. The pair stayed married for nearly four years before calling it quits in 2005. Following her divorce, she dated disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo for roughly 14 years before the pair announced their split in September 2019. Although Cuomo wasn't married when they met, contrary to Lee's rumored preference from her past, their romance did unravel. Amid the tornado of sexual harassment charges around Cuomo, reports the New York Post, the ex-governor was possibly cheating on Lee with several of his staffers.

It seemed like Lee had changed her alleged ways, but two years after ending things with Cuomo, the former Food Network chef has since found new love with fiancé Ben Youcef, an actor and producer who proposed in August 2021, per the Daily Mail. It seems the lovers will have a long engagement, due to Youcef still being married, a situation Lee's been in before with her previous marriage to Karatz. A close friend of the celebrity chef and author told People that "she needed someone completely different from Andrew."