Chef Sandra Lee has a new man in her life: Ben Youcef.
Lee, 55, who previously dated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been linked to Youcef for the last couple of weeks. Most recently, the pair were spotted vacationing in Europe.
Lee’s new relationship with Youcef has turned heads. The couple was recently photographed locking lips in Saint-Tropez. Plus, all eyes are on Lee’s love life as it comes at a turbulent time for Cuomo, who continues to be involved in an ongoing sexual harassment scandal.
The politician was found to have sexually harassed multiple women according to a report released last week by Attorney General Letitia James.
Lee and Cuomo split in 2019 after 14 years of dating and Youcef is said to be a much different man for Lee. Here are five fast things to know about Youcef.
1. He’s an actor
42-year-old Youcef was born in Algiers, Algeria and is said to have been discovered by Steven Spielberg in Munich, Germany. Since moving to Los Angeles, Youcef has reportedly starred in television shows including “Law & Order,” “CSI: New York,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Chicago PD,” “Hawaii Five-0″and more.
2. He’s been married before
Youcef’s former wife is California-based realtor Apryl Stephenson. He and his Stephenson filed for divorce in January 2020.
3. He’s a dad
Youcef is father to five-year-old twins he shares with Stephenson.
4. His faith is important to him
According to reports, Youcef is also a nonprofit interfaith leader. He is an active member with a non-profit Inter-faith group of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Los Angeles. He’s conducted interviews about his faith and a “Call to Prayer” he delivered was reportedly viewed online over 20 million times.
5. Youcef and Lee are taking things slow
Lee, 55, reportedly first met Youcef, 42, in March, but the relationship is still in “very early” stages, according to a report published Friday by People magazine.
“They became friends when they met at a Santa Monica restaurant in March. It’s very early but they seem to have an undeniable connection,” a source told the magazine. “But both are taking things slowly and enjoying getting to know each other.”
A friend of Lee’s told the magazine the chef is enjoying Youcef’s differences compared to her ex.
“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,” a friend of Lee told People magazine.
While it remains unclear if Lee knew of her ex’s extracurricular activities, Cuomo was revered as a caring partner to Lee when she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2015 and ultimately underwent a double mastectomy.
The New York Post reported in April that those who worked for Cuomo at the time questioned whether his outward support for Lee during her illness was all a ruse to save face in the eye of the public.
In a joint statement at the time, the former pair said over the “recent past,” they “realized” their lives have “gone in different directions.”
“Our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship,” they said, adding, “We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal, and there will be no further comment.”
Cuomo has continuously denied any wrongdoing regarding the harassment allegations.
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.