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Sandra Lee makes return to NYC following her ex Andrew Cuomo’s fall from grace as governor


Disgraced ex-NY Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s former girlfriend Sandra Lee made a very glamorous return to the Big Apple for a gala held among a famed set of ruins.   

On Thursday the 55-year-old professional chef posted sultry selfies in a glamourous, low-cut golden gown she wore to attend the 60th Anniversary of The White House Historical Association Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

She snapped herself admiring the Upper East Side museum’s famed Temple of Dendur, which was originally built in Egypt in 10BC and has since been reconstructed. 

Lee, who now lives in Malibu, returned to the Empire State – where she once resided with Cuomo – after months of being away.  

Since she’s been gone from New York since Cuomo, her former boyfriend of 14 years, was forced to resign as governor after mounting allegations of sexual harassment while in office. But there was a glimmer of hope for the embattled lawmaker Thursday, after Albany prosecutor David Soares delayed Cuomo’s arraignment after branding the case against the ex-gov ‘defective.’ 

The 55-year-old professional chef posted sultry selfies in a glamourous, low cut golden gown

Lee posted pictures of the gala's décor and installments, including an ancient Egyptian temple display

Lee posted pictures of the gala’s décor and installments, including an ancient Egyptian temple display

Lee's outfit included a vintage bejeweled Bob Macki couture dress, an Oscar De La Renta clutch and a Christian Dior Ruby & Art Glass necklace

Lee’s outfit included a vintage bejeweled Bob Macki couture dress, an Oscar De La Renta clutch and a Christian Dior Ruby & Art Glass necklace

Lee and Cuomo never got engaged during their 14 years together. The relationship is said to have ended when Cuomo allegedly cheated on her. The former Food Network star was previously married to former KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz from 2001 to 2005. 

Lee posted multiple snaps of her night out on the town as she donned a vintage bejeweled Bob Macki couture dress, an Oscar De La Renta clutch and a Christian Dior Ruby & Art Glass necklace, Fox News reported. 

On her Instagram she said she had an ‘amazing night’ and called the venue ‘fun and elegant,’ as she posted pictures of the gala’s décor and installments.

Lee was even able to snap a selfie with first lady Jill Biden, who presented her with the City of Hope, Spirit of Life Award back in 2016.

The gala was meant to celebrate the White House’s support of educational projects. 

Missing in action was her new fiancé Ben Youcef, 42, who she got engaged to this summer in France.  

In August, around the same time Cuomo’s political career was imploding, Lee accepted Youcef’s proposal during a romantic Paris break. 

Lee and Cuomo's 14 year relationship is said to have ended in 2019 when Cuomo reportedly cheated on her (pictured together in 2018)

Lee and Cuomo’s 14 year relationship is said to have ended in 2019 when Cuomo reportedly cheated on her (pictured together in 2018)

Missing in action was her new fiancé Ben Youcef, who she got engaged to this summer in France (pictured in France)

Missing in action was her new fiancé Ben Youcef, who she got engaged to this summer in France (pictured in France)

The pair are believed to have met at a charity event in Santa Monica back in March, with Youcef making the first move

The pair are believed to have met at a charity event in Santa Monica back in March, with Youcef making the first move

Youcef, a devoted father of 5-year-old twins, separated from his wife, California-based realtor Apryl Stephenson in 2019 and they filed for divorce in January 2020.

He is an interfaith leader, an actor and a producer who had his big break when Steven Spielberg cast him as a Palestinian member of Black September in the 2005 movie, Munich.

They are believed to have met at a charity event in Santa Monica back in March, with Youcef making the first move.

Lee moved to Malibu, California following the 2019 break-up, where she bought a $3.4million beach house.

She sold her Mt. Kisko, New York home – named ‘Lily Pond’ – for $1.85 million last October.

The star was famously seen loading a U-Haul truck with her possessions before beginning the mammoth journey to her new home on the other side of the US. 

Her glamourous outing came one day before news broke that Cuomo could have his sex crime charge tossed out after the Albany County district attorney called the complaint ‘potentially defective.’

On Friday District Attorney David Soares said that Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple filed the complaint ‘unilaterally and inexplicably’ while his investigation was still ongoing.

Soares, a Democrat, added that the complaint did not even include a sworn statement by the alleged victim, former aide Brittany Commisso, that would allow them to prosecute the deposed governor.

The DA noted that parts of Commisso’s prior testimony were excluded and that one part of the complaint incorrectly stated the relevant law that Cuomo had allegedly broken. 

Cuomo could have his sex crime charge tossed out after the Albany County district attorney called the complaint 'potentially defective'

Cuomo could have his sex crime charge tossed out after the Albany County district attorney called the complaint ‘potentially defective’

On her Instagram Lee said she had an 'amazing night' and called the venue 'fun and elegant,'

On her Instagram Lee said she had an ‘amazing night’ and called the venue ‘fun and elegant,’

The gala was meant to celebrate the White House's support of educational projects

The gala was meant to celebrate the White House’s support of educational projects

Judge Holly Trexler of Albany City Court agreed to Soares’ request to postpone Cuomo’s arraignment until January 7, giving the district attorney 60 days ‘to reduce the risk of a procedural dismissal of this case’ and give Soares ‘time to continue with our independent and unbiased review of the facts.’

Cuomo has been charged with forcible touching, two months after being pushed out of office by New York AG Letitia James, the woman now campaigning for his job. 

James has since launched her own run for the governorship in 2022, with Team Cuomo claiming the allegations against him are a politically-motivated witch-hunt.

His former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is now serving as governor, and says she intends to run for re-election next year too.  

On Sunday, the Cuomo camp had issued a lengthy statement saying that ‘Sheriff Apple and Tish James have epitomized the worst combination of politics, incompetence and abuse of the law.’

‘Despite Apple’s claim that there is “overwhelming evidence”, he has offered zero evidence corroborating the claim. Likewise the James report did not offer any corroborating evidence of the claim,’ the Cuomo statement added.

James on Monday responded saying: ‘This is nothing more than an attempt by the former governor to undermine and politicize this report.’

‘I believe the women. They obviously told their truth. And we are going to stand by our report,’ she added, according to NY1.

The charges were filed last week in Albany City Court. They relate to the allegation brought by Commisso, a former aide who claimed Cuomo groped her breast in the office of the Executive Mansion in Albany in December 2020, when he was at the height of his pandemic popularity.

Cuomo has always denied it.



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