Who is Ben Youcef's wife Apryl Stephenson? Sandra Lee's fiance still married amid custody battle
Ben Youcef, Andrew Cuomo's ex-girlfriend Sandra Lee's fiance, is still married and in the middle of a nasty custody dispute with his soon-to-be ex-wife, news outlets reported on Tuesday, August 17.
Lee and Youcef were in the news recently after they paid a visit to a French church shortly before Andrew Cuomo resigned as Governor of New York after sexual harassment allegations. In 2005, Lee began a relationship with Andrew Cuomo. The pair declared the end of their relationship on September 25, 2019.
Youcef has been married to real estate dealer Apryl Stephenson since 2015, with whom he has five-year-old twins, according to reports on Tuesday. Youcef's divorce from Stephenson is still pending, according to sources close to the matter.
Stephenson acknowledged to the Daily Mail that they are still married. “We are going through a divorce and I wish Ben and Sandra the best of luck. But I have nothing more to say,” Stephenson, 44, told the news outlet.
A friend, on the other hand, spilled the beans about the tense, ongoing divorce. “Ben is an opportunist. I’m sure he is loving the media attention he is getting. He craved this sort of attention for several years and now he has it. Months ago, he told people he is dating a ‘celebrity;’ he was so proud to say it," they said. “Poor Sandra. She’s gone from a sexual predator in Andrew Cuomo to Ben, an opportunist. He has his own agenda,” they added.
Who is Apryl Stephenson?
Apryl Stephenson is a real estate broker. According to her LinkedIn profile, Stephenson is a Real Estate Strategist based in Murrieta, California. She has been working for Mint Real Estate since December last year. She earlier worked in her capacity at Rancon Real Estate. She has worked as a business operations manager, a business process analyst, resource manager, and sales and traffic coordinator for companies like ACI Worldwide and Alkami Technology.
Stephenson holds a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Pepperdine University, and an MBA in General Management from The George L Graziadio School of Business and Management, which is also at Pepperdine. She is a licensed real estate agent and has been certified by the California Department of Real Estate. Her specialties include data analysis, custom Reporting, business insight, project management, account management, process improvement, strategic planning, and financial modeling.
"Apryl launched her career working for startup and global banking software companies throughout Los Angeles. In a business operations role, Apryl became an expert in developing and implementing high-concept ideas, including capacity planning, forecasting, and process design, with the goal of building infrastructures that would help businesses grow and thrive rapidly," her LinkedIn bio reads.
"She is a mom to two sets of twins, which undoubtedly brings adventure and spontaneity to her life. Apryl is able to maintain equilibrium through daily self-care rituals, which include meditation, exercise, mindfulness, and taking care of herself from the inside out. By staying balanced, Apryl is able to perform at the highest level & be fully present in her personal and professional relationships," it adds.
What happened between Youcef and her?
Stephenson had married Algerian actor Youcef in Murrieta, California on June 7, 2015. After three years, Stephenson filed for legal separation in July 2018. Harris, a boy, and Hannah, a girl, were born in December 2015, the Mail stated.
Stephenson then filed for formal separation dismissal and divorce on the same day, on January 7, 2020. According to Riverside County court records, she filed the application as her own attorney against her spouse, using his legal name Abdelwahab Benyoucef. Stephenson's parents submitted court testimonies accusing Youcef of failing to set boundaries and not being a responsible parent when it came to their children's hygiene. He's more of a 'playmate' to them than a parent, they claim.
Beverly Stephenson, Youcef's mother-in-law, stated in her declaration that her daughter's marriage to Youcef had severe problems from the start, and that he never lived permanently into the marital house in Murrieta, preferring to stay in his apartment in Santa Monica and visit on weekends. "Ben was little assistance to Apryl in caring for the children other than holding them," Beverly noted in her declaration when the twins were toddlers.
"'Apryl and Ben lived a short time together as husband and wife, they never really lived together as husband and wife after the twins were born. Ben always maintained his 2- bedroom 2 -bathroom rent-controlled apartment," a friend said.