Hilaria Baldwin has hit back at claims that she cultivated a false persona as a Spanish woman, after it was revealed the mum of five was born and raised in Boston and is North American.
The Living Clearly Method author, 36, took to Instagram on Sunday morning to discuss viral allegations surfacing on social media claiming she intentionally misrepresented her cultural identity.
“I am a white girl’: Hilaria responds to ‘fake Spanish’ claims
Hilaria was believed by many to have been born in Mallorca, Spain, thanks to her IMDB page, biography on her agent’s page and numerous articles stating so.
She has frequently spoken about her Spanish cultural background, and referenced living in Spain as a child, as well as often speaking with a slight Spanish accent – all of which led fans to assume she was of Spanish background.
Now, in a seven-minute Instagram video, Hilaria confirmed she is a white American woman who was born in Boston to American parents and claimed she was raised in both the US and Spain. Her parents now live in Mallorca full time with her brother.
Though it seems her parents worked full time in the US until 2012, Hilaria said she was raised between Boston and Mallorca and goes by both Hillary and Hilaria. She denied ever intentionally trying to misrepresent herself to be of Spanish heritage.
Saying she “consolidated” the two identities, Hilaria admitted she’s not sure she always bridged the two identities well.
“I was born in Boston and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain,” she said. “My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the USA.”
She added that she considers herself “white”.
“Yes, I am a white girl,” Hilaria went on.
“Europe has a lot of white people in there. 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.”
She says claims she was of Spanish descent were the result of misrepresentation from the media, adding that press coverage of her from university days in which she was named as Hillary Hayward Thomas was simply the result of her going by both names.
“I’ve tried in the past to be clear, but people don’t always report and say what you say,” she told her followers.
“In this country I would use the name Hillary. In Spain, I would use the name Hilaria. I identify more as Hilaria because that’s what my family calls me.”
Where did Hilaria, or Hillary, Baldwin really grow up?
Hilaria’s defence comes after Twitter user Leni Briscoe went viral with a Twitter thread claiming Hilaria ‘impersonated’ a Spanish person.
On the thread, Briscoe shared several videos of Hilaria speaking with a thick Spanish accent, in one even claiming not to know the English word for cucumber, and in another saying ‘25 or 30’ of her relatives flew in from Spain to attend her wedding to Alec Baldwin.
Since the post went up, Hilaria’s stepdaughter Ireland has in part responded to the Spanish family video, referencing Hilaria’s ‘chosen’ Spanish family in an impassioned comment defending her step mum.
“I had the best time of my life dancing with your chosen family that flew all the way here from Spain to party at your wedding,” she wrote.
The allegations have also been summarised by Instagram user Tracie Egan Morrissey on a story that laid out the basic accusations and videos.
In one clip Tracie points out that though Hilaria told podcast Mom Truths ‘I moved here when I was 19 to go to NYU’ after the host asks if she ‘lived here with her parents’, Hilaria’s parents were still living in Boston until 2012.
Tracie pointed out that in 2003, the year Hilaria claims she moved to the States, her mother was still teaching in Boston where she was employed until 2012.
Hilaria’s parents seem to have retired in Mallorca in 2012 with her bother, and spent time there when the kids were younger, though they both were employed in America.
It is unclear when and for how long the Hayward Thomas family spent time in Spain before 2012, and Hilaria did not clarify what their living arrangements were in the country in her response. It’s also unclear if Hilaria or her family hold Spanish citizenship.
Adding more controversy were Twitter comments from dozens of people claiming to be former classmates of ‘Hillary’ as she was known then.
The comments all claimed she attended high school in Boston and that at that time, she had no Spanish accent.
Others hit back that being bilingual, accents can shift and change, and Hilaria seemed to respond to these criticisms in a follow-up Instagram Story posted later on Sunday showing a screenshot of text messages from her brother written in Spanish.
“When I’m sad, I always have my big brother. Te quiero mucho, hermano,” Baldwin wrote on the screenshot.
Next, she shared that she’s done addressing the criticism, and asked people to leave her alone.
Baldwins come to Hilaria’s defence
Soon, Baldwin’s husband Alec posted his own video, in which he didn’t mention his wife’s situation directly but spoke broadly about questioning the source of rumours online.
“Some of it’s so spectacularly false. And they’ve said it about people I love. False things. Untrue things,” said Baldwin, who concluded his speech by whispering, “When you love somebody, you want to defend them.”
Alec’s daughter Ireland Baldwin earlier came forward to defend her stepmum, writing her passionate defence in a comment on Hilaria’s latest Instagram post.
“I wish people had the chance to know you and know your story the way that I do rather than from a fabricated nine hour-long Instagram story,” she wrote.
“I think you are an incredible mom and an inspiration... I thank God often that the stars aligned and I wound up with a stepmom like you.”
“I love you and I find it really sad that people have the time that they do to play detective and make up a lot of lies and fabricate a lot of truths to fit a story.
“I’m sorry that people are giving you such a hard time during a time that is already so f**king difficult for everyone in this world coping with the realities of Covid and being without family over the holidays and even losing family during the holidays due to this madness… I know who you are and I know what you are not and I’m lucky to know you for who you truly are.”
Additional reporting by Megan Johnson.
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