• The estranged wife of Sandra Lee's fiancé Ben Youcef said they have not yet finalized their divorce
  • Youcef and real estate broker Apryl Stephenson separated in 2019 and filed for divorce in January last year
  • Youcef reportedly wanted joint legal and physical custody of their children, but Stephenson was fighting him on this

Sandra Lee's fiancé Ben Youcef has yet to finalize his divorce from his estranged wife, reports say.

While they have not yet officially announced that they are engaged, the New York Post recently reported that Lee, 55, said yes when her 46-year-old beau popped the question during a romantic Paris vacation and obtained photos of her wearing a huge diamond ring. However, they may not be able to exchange vows anytime soon as Youcef is still married, Page Six reported.

Youcef — an interfaith leader, actor and producer ⁠— has been married to real estate broker Apryl Stephenson since 2015, and they share 5-year-old twins, a son named Harris and a daughter named Hannah.

They separated in 2019 and filed for divorce in January last year, according to People.

Stephenson also confirmed to the Daily Mail that they have not yet finalized their divorce.

"Yes, Ben and I are still married," Stephenson told Daily Mail when the outlet reached out to her. "We are going through a divorce and I wish Ben and Sandra the best of luck. But I have nothing more to say."

Daily Mail said it obtained a copy of their divorce papers, which revealed that Youcef wanted joint legal and physical custody of their children and that Stephenson was fighting him on this.

Youcef was accused of not being a responsible parent by Stephenson's parents in their court declarations. They claimed that he neglected their twins' hygiene and failed to establish boundaries, allegedly acting more like a "playmate" to them than a parental figure.

Youcef's mother-in-law, Beverly Stephenson, alleged in her declaration that the actor was of "little assistance" to her daughter when it came to caring for their twins.

"[Youcef] was ill-equipped to properly care for them. He did not honor a routine. He did not bathe them or brush their teeth or take time to change their clothes or comb their hair," Beverly wrote, according to the outlet.

However, an unnamed source told Page Six that Lee "would never be with a man who wasn't completely dedicated to his children and focused on their well-being."

"Both Sandra and Ben have come from past relationships with narcissists," the insider continued. "This is their one shot at happiness together and the jealousy factor from an ex-wife is what's behind this."

Youcef is 13 years Lee's junior. An unnamed source told People earlier this month that the cookbook author "struggled with the age difference" and even refused to date him at first. However, Youcef "was patient and reassured her that age is just a number," the source added.

Lee's friends are also rooting for them, an insider earlier told Page Six. "He is as beautiful inside as he is outside – they make a gorgeous couple. They’re both extremely spiritual," the source continued.

Lee previously dated Andrew Cuomo for 14 years before they parted ways in September 2019.

Sandra Lee
Celebrity chef Sandra Lee is resting after undergoing a double mastectomy Tuesday. Reuters