Sandra Lee and Boyfriend Ben Youcef 'Really Enjoying Each Other' amid Engagement Rumors: Source

Sandra Lee and Ben Youcef, an actor and interfaith leader, sparked engagement buzz just over a week after PEOPLE confirmed their relationship

Sandra Lee, Ben Youcef
Sandra Lee, Ben Youcef. Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Sandra Lee and Ben Youcef are continuing to spend time together.

Just over a week after PEOPLE confirmed the lifestyle icon's relationship the actor and producer, the pair sparked engagement buzz after Lee, 55, was seen wearing a ring on that finger while embracing Youcef, 42, in Paris, according to photographs published by The New York Post.

However, a source tells PEOPLE that any news about their relationship status is "just rumors."

"They are really enjoying each other, but it is just rumors for now," the source says.

As for how their relationship started, a source previously told PEOPLE that "they became friends when they met at a Santa Monica restaurant in March."

"Meeting each other during COVID was challenging," the source added. "He's become her friend and loving confidante quickly."

Youcef, 42, is a nonprofit interfaith leader, as well as a father of two. He separated from his wife in 2019, before they later filed for divorce in January 2020. "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.

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Sandra Lee attends the LuisaViaRoma for Unicef event at La Certosa di San Giacomo on July 31, 2021 in Capri, Italy.
Sandra Lee. Daniele Venturelli/Getty

The rumors about Lee's relationship status comes just days after her ex, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, resigned from office on Tuesday. The announcement made following a bombshell report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which concluded that the governor "sexually harassed multiple women" and, in doing so, "violated federal and state law."

Lee and Cuomo were together for 14 years before announcing their split in September 2019.

"I think she needed someone completely different from Andrew," a close friend of the chef previously told PEOPLE. "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."

Updated by
Charlotte Triggs
Charlotte Triggs

Managing Editor, PEOPLE Digital

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