Hilaria Baldwin apologized for not being 'more clear' about her background
- Hilaria Baldwin, the wife of Alec Baldwin, apologized after fans were misled about her background.
- Fans claimed that Baldwin, who was born Hillary Thomas in Boston, was using a fake Spanish accent.
- Baldwin wrote that she "should have been more clear" about her background and where she was born.
Hilaria Baldwin returned to Instagram after not posting for more than a month following accusations from fans that she was falsely claiming to be from Spain and use a Spanish accent.
"I've spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow," Baldwin, who married Alec Baldwin in 2012, wrote in her post. "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," Baldwin continued. "I'm proud of the way I was raised, and we're raising our children to share the same love and respect for both."
"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," Baldwin wrote.
Fans accused Baldwin of being misleading about her background
Baldwin, who was born Hillary Thomas in Boston, was recently at the center of controversy surrounding her upbringing and background.
In December 2020, a widely shared Twitter thread from user @lenibriscoe collected Baldwin's past interviews and TV appearances and claimed that the fitness instructor seemed to fabricate her accent and identify as being born in Spain on numerous occasions.
One widely shared example was a resurfaced clip of Baldwin giving a cooking tutorial on the "Today" show for a "People en Español festival" in October 2015. In the video segment, Baldwin walked the Telemundo host Evi Siskos through ingredients for "authentic" gazpacho and said: "We have tomatoes, we have, um, how do you say in English? Cucumber!"
Other examples included magazine profiles that claimed Baldwin was born in Mallorca, Spain.
The Twitter thread seemingly led Baldwin to address the claims in an Instagram video that same month, in which she said she was born in Boston and spent much of her upbringing in Spain. She said that's why she tends to "mix" English and Spanish interchangeably.
In the video, Baldwin said of her use of both English and Spanish "is not something that I'm playing at, so I want that to be very, very clear."
The fitness coach and author of "The Living Clearly Method" added that she tries to "enunciate a little more" when she works, but she sometimes mixes the two languages if she gets "nervous or upset."
"I try to speak more clearly in each language," she said. "I think that that's something that I should try to do, but sometimes I mess it up, but it's not something that I'm playing at, so I want that to be very, very clear."
Baldwin also said that while living in Boston, she used the name Hillary, and in Spain, she went by the name Hilaria.
"My whole family would call me Hilaria. It always kind of bothered me that neither name sounded 'good' in the other language, so I would use one or the other," she said.
She eventually chose Hilaria as her legal name before marrying Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin later told The New York Times that month that she grew up spending time in both Boston and Spain.
"The things I have shared about myself are very clear," Baldwin told the outlet. "I was born in Boston. I spent time in Boston and in Spain. My family now lives in Spain. I moved to New York when I was 19 years old and I have lived here ever since. For me, I feel like I have spent 10 years sharing that story over and over again. And now it seems like it's not enough."
After her tell-all Instagram video, Baldwin appeared to take a break from the app, and Alec Baldwin defended his wife from "hate" she faced over the controversy.
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