Actor Ben Youcef has been spotted kissing celebrity chef Sandra Lee in Paris, after the pair seemingly got engaged. Here’s 5 things to know about him!
Sandra Lee, 55, has a new man in her life, nearly two years after her split from ex-husband Andrew Cuomo. 42-year-old actor and producer Ben Youcef seemingly got down on one knee while the couple were in Europe in August 2021, multiple sources told Page Six. The happy couple were spotted looking very in love while strolling around Paris, showing off her huge ring, just a few days after the New York governor resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Here’s 5 things to know about Ben.
1. He is engaged to Sandra Lee.
Sandra reportedly bolted to Europe after news of her ex-husband’s scandal broke, which left her “devastated,” according to Page Six. Shortly after, she was spotted locking lips with Ben and sporting a very large jewel on her left ring finger. The August 14 snaps, which were taken outside Parisian hotspot L’Avenue, also show Ben sporting a band on his wedding ring finger. Earlier in the week, the celebrity chef was pictured packing on the PDA with the actor and producer, while on the French. Sandra shared a romantic kiss with her new boyfriend in one snapshot, while in another the happy couple grabbed ahold of each other while walking through the tourist-filled town.
2. Ben is an actor.
Ben was born in Algiers on the Mediterranean coast, and is an actor, producer and nonprofit interfaith leader. He was reportedly discovered by Steven Spielberg in Germany, before studying acting in London and later working as a model in New York. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has appeared on Law & Order, CSINY, NCIS: LA and Chicago PD.
3. He has been married before and is a dad.
Ben was previously married to California-based realtor Apryl Stephenson. The pair share five year old children however they filed for divorce in January 2020. Meanwhile, Sandra split from Andrew in September 2019 after dating for 14 years. At the time of their split, they lived together in a Westchester County home, however Sandra moved out and relocated to California in December 2020. Prior to her relationship with Andrew, Sandra was married to businessman Bruce Karatz from 2001 to 2005.
4. Ben started dating Sandra in early 2021.
Sandra and Ben only began dating this year, a source told PEOPLE. The insider told the outlet that two met in March while each dining at a restaurant in Santa Monica. “It’s very early but they seem to have an undeniable connection,” the source told the publication last month. “But both are taking things slowly and enjoying getting to know each other.”
“He seems to be a good match as he has a deep understanding of all of Sandra’s worlds from her professional life to her dedicated focus on family and commitment to philanthropy,” the source said. When asked about the age difference between the two, the insider explained, “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.”
5. Faith is important to him.
Ben is also a nonprofit interfaith leader, and is a member of an inter-faith group of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Los Angeles, Fox News reported. He has even conducted interviews about his faith, and a “Call to Prayer” he presented was reportedly viewed more than 20 million times online.