Hilaria Baldwin apologises for faking her Spanish 'heritage'

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·6-min read

Following the viral allegations last year that Hilaria Baldwin cultivated a false persona as a Spanish woman despite being born and raised in Boston, she has apologised in an Instagram post saying she "should have been more clear".

While she did apologise, she stopped short of actually confessing to misleading people about her heritage.

Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin
Hilaria Baldwin has apologised in an Instagram post saying she "should have been more clear" about her heritage after she was accused of faking her Spanish heritage. Photo: Getty

"I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow," she wrote. "My parents raised my brother and me with two cultures, American and Spanish, and I feel a true sense of belonging to both.

"The way I’ve spoken about myself and my deep connection to two cultures could have been better explained - I should have been more clear and I'm sorry. I'm proud of the way I was raised, and we’re raising our children to share the same love and respect for both."

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She finished, "Being vulnerable and pushing ourselves to learn and grow is what we've built our community on, and I hope to get back to the supportive and kind environment we’ve built together."

The 37-year-old had been laying low with her husband Alec Baldwin and their five children after she was exposed online in December.

She was forced to admit she was born in Boston and her name is actually Hillary after spending years claiming Majorca was her birthplace and that she'd arrived in the US at 19 years old. She also uses a Spanish accent.

The whole saga kicked off with a tweet on December 21 that read, "You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin's commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person."

While Hilaria did apologise in her post, she stopped short of actually confessing to misleading people about her heritage. Photo: Instagram/Hilaria Baldwin
While Hilaria did apologise in her post, she stopped short of actually confessing to misleading people about her heritage. Photo: Instagram/Hilaria Baldwin

This was followed up by posts and videos proving how Hilaria's accent had changed over the years. Former classmates also came forward, saying Hilaria was raised in Massachusetts and didn't have any kind of accent growing up.

"I went to high school with her. Genuinely lovely person, I recall, but fully a white girl from Cambridge," one wrote.

"I went to high school with her," someone else shared. "She was perfectly nice and serious about ballroom dancing. Her name was indeed Hillary Hayward-Thomas and she did not have her current accent."

In a now-infamous video from the Today Show, Hilaria appears to forget the English word for cucumber.

She's also previously said that her mother is Spanish and in a November 2012 interview, she said her family didn't understand how to pronounce her new surname Baldwin.

"I had to repeat it to my family three times: Baldddwinnn," she said at the time. "And the third time they said, 'Oh, we already know who it is! Why didn't you pronounce it right the first time?'"

The whole saga kicked off with a tweet on December 21 that read, "You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin's commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person." Photo: Twitter
The whole saga kicked off with a tweet on December 21 that read, "You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin's commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person." Photo: Twitter

Hilaria's parents did move to Majorca, but not until they retired in 2011, before that they had lived and worked in the US.

According to the Daily Mail, Hilaria has never even been to the town where her parents own property in Majorca.

One restaurant owner told the publication, "To the best of my knowledge Hilaria's never been here."

"Jeremy's [Hilaria's brother] parents understand Spanish and speak it but with a foreign accent and Jeremy is fairly fluent," he said.

"But when they're together here, they speak to each other in English."

In a New York Times interview last year, Hilaria hit back at the scandal, saying the blame lay with the media for "misrepresenting me" thus causing people to be confused about her heritage.

However, the interview itself was full of contradictions.

Hilaria and Alec's children all have Spanish names and they even incorporated elements of Spanish culture into their wedding with readings in English and Spanish. Photo: Instagram/Hilaria Baldwin
Hilaria and Alec's children all have Spanish names and they even incorporated elements of Spanish culture into their wedding with readings in English and Spanish. Photo: Instagram/Hilaria Baldwin

She claimed she told Alec when they met she was from Boston, "I walked by him," she told the publication. "He said, 'Where are you from?' And I said, 'I’m from Boston.' That was the first thing I said, that has always been my narrative."

However, in a 2013 interview with David Letterman, Alec famously said, "My wife is from Spain."

The couple's children all have Spanish names and they even incorporated elements of Spanish culture into their wedding with readings in English and Spanish.

Hilaria also claimed her bio on her agency's website, which said she was Spanish, was a mistake made by her reps, saying they had taken "unverified information from the Internet to write a sloppy bio."

In an Instagram video in early January, Hilaria defended herself further, saying she spend "some of" her childhood in Spain and "some" of it in Massachusetts.

"There was a lot of back and forth my entire life," she said.

"And I'm really lucky that I grew up speaking two different languages and I'm trying to raise my kids, so they speak two languages too. And that's something very important to me especially having my family abroad."

She continued, "Let's be very clear that Europe has a lot of white people in there and my family is white. Ethnically, I am a mix of many, many, many things. Culturally, I grew up with two cultures so it's really as simple as that."

"Yeah I'm a different kind of Bostonian but that's who I am, and you kind of can't change your background - nor would I want to - I'm really, really proud of who I am."

Salma Hayek, who is friends with Alec said she had been "fooled" by Hilaria's claims but defended her saying, "We all lie a little bit."

"We all lie a little bit," Salma said on SiriusXM's Andy Cohen Live. "She makes my friend happy. She fooled me because she's such a good mother. She has five [kids] and you know, I don't care."

"It makes me feel proud that people are inspired. I think she's smart to want to be Spanish. We're cool, you know?"

She added that she doesn't believe Hilaria is a "bad person".

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