Hilaria Baldwin apologizes for faking her Spanish heritage
Hilaria Baldwin apologizes for faking her Spanish heritage and says ‘I should have been more clear’ – but still insists she has a ‘deep connection to two cultures’
- The influencer and wife of SNL star Alec Baldwin finally said ‘sorry’ for the saga and said she had spent the last month ‘asking myself how I can learn and grow’
- She stopped short of confessing to misleading people doubling down on her previous claims that she was raised ‘with two cultures, American and Spanish’
- Hilaria was laying low with her husband and five children following the storm that erupted in December when her fake heritage claims were exposed online
- The 37-year-old was forced to confess she had been born in Boston and went by the name Hillary
- She spent years claiming Majorca was her birthplace and that she only arrived into the US at the age of 19
- The fall-out cost her endorsement deals with American Girl and baby label Cuties Baby Care
Hilaria Baldwin has apologized for faking her Spanish heritage, saying in an Instagram post on Friday that she ‘should have been more clear’.
The influencer and wife of SNL star Alec Baldwin finally said ‘sorry’ for the saga and said she had ‘spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow’.
She stopped short of confessing she had misled people about her Spanish roots instead doubling down on her previous claims that she was raised ‘with two cultures, American and Spanish’ and that she feels ‘a true sense of belonging to both’.
Hilaria had been laying low with her husband and their five children following the storm that erupted in December when she was exposed online over her fake heritage claims.
The 37-year-old was forced to confess she had been born in Boston and went by the name Hillary after she had spent years claiming Majorca was her birthplace and that she only arrived into the US at the age of 19.
In a caption alongside a photo of her with her husband Alec and their five children, she said: ‘I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow
Hilaria Baldwin apologized for faking her Spanish heritage in an Instagram post on Friday
In a caption alongside a photo of her with her husband Alec and their five children, she wrote in the Instagram post: ‘I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow.
‘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.
‘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,’ she said.
At the end of December, it emerged that Hilaria – who in the past claimed to have grown up in Majorca and spoke with a Spanish accent – actually spent her childhood in Beacon Hill, Boston, and went by Hillary.
It started with a single tweet on December 21 which read: ‘You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person’.
The woman then continued to post videos and proof of how Hilaria’s accent has changed over the years.
Several former classmates came forward to confirm that Hilaria was in fact raised in Weston, Massachusetts, by American parents without a hint of a foreign accent.
The influencer and wife of SNL star Alec Baldwin (pictured together) finally said ‘sorry’ for the saga and said she had ‘spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow’
The 37-year-old was forced to confess she had been born in Boston after she spent years claiming Majorca was her birthplace and that she only arrived into the US at the age of 19
‘I went to high school with her. Genuinely lovely person, I recall, but fully a white girl from Cambridge,’ one wrote.
Another added: ‘I went to high school with her. She was perfectly nice and serious about ballroom dancing. Her name was indeed Hillary Hayward-Thomas and she did not have her current accent.’
The woman who first exposed the fraud, later told The New York Times that it was an ‘open secret’ in Manhattan that Hilaria had faked her heritage, and that she and her friends, ‘bored’ from the pandemic, decided finally to expose the secret.
In the next few days several videos of Hilaria’s past TV appearances resurfaced showing her commitment to a Spanish accent.
In one now infamous Today Show video that surfaced, Hilaria appeared to forget the English word for cucumber.
Hilaria had long described her mother as Spanish and, in a November 2012 interview, said her family couldn’t understand how to pronounce her new surname Baldwin.
She said: ‘I had to repeat it to my family three times: Baldddwinnn. And the third time they said Oh, we already know who it is! Why didn’t you pronounce it right the first time?’
Hilaria claimed she was born in Majorca and didn’t come to the US until she was 19 to attend New York University.
‘I came for school and I never, ever left,’ she said in an April 2020 interview.
A newly resurfaced tax form also revealed Hilaria took two attempts to get her name right as she toyed between her birth name and the adopted Spanish version.
The document shows she crossed out both the first name and last name of the 2009 W-4 document before finally decided on Hillary L. Hayward-Thomas – the name she was born with – on her second attempt.
But records surfaced revealing that Hilaria’s parents, Dr Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas, were also both Massachusetts’ natives and had lived and worked in the US for years only moving to Majorca in 2011 when they retired.
Hayward is not Spanish and is in fact a fourth-generation Massachusetts resident who spent most of her career practicing medicine in Longmeadow, records show.
Hayward gave birth to Hillary in January 1984 in Boston.
Hilaria’s parents, Dr Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas, pictured, are both Boston natives who worked in the US for years before retiring to Majorca in 2011
DailyMail.com revealed she grew up in this 100-year-old $4million house in the heart of the most desirable district in Boston called Beacon Hill
Hilaria’s parents now own apartments in Inca in Majorca but only moved there in 2011
DailyMail.com discovered records showing Hilaria’s parents bought a 100-year-old $4million house in the heart of the most desirable district in Boston called Beacon Hill when their daughter was just three years old.
They didn’t move out till she had turned 28.
DailyMail.com also discovered the only property her parents currently own on the island of Majorca in their names are two apartments in the center of Inca which they purchased last summer.
Meanwhile, Baldwin’s family ‘friends’ in Majorca told DailyMail.com they’d never met her, and that her parents spoke with American accents.
One restaurant owner where Hilaria’s dad David Thomas and her mom own property, said ‘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.’
A neighbor said she knew Hilaria’s brother had gone to Majorca on a school exchange trip and that is when the family started to fall in love with the island.
Hilaria hit back over the scandal in a cringe-worthy New York Times interview in December where she pinned the blame for the deception on the media for ‘misrepresenting me’ which had caused people to be ‘confused’ about her heritage.
But the interview itself was full of contradictions from her previous accounts.
In an Instagram video in early January she tried to defend her actions again claiming she spent ‘some of’ her childhood in Spain and ‘some’ of it in Massachusetts
She claimed that she told husband Alec from their first meeting that she was from Boston’.
‘I walked by him,’ Hilaria told the Times of meeting Alec in a vegan restaurant in 2011.
‘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.’
This contradicted Alec’s now infamous 2013 Letterman interview in which he said ‘my wife is from Spain.’
The couple also gave their five children Spanish names and incorporated several elements of Spanish culture into their wedding with readings in both Spanish and English, Hilaria waving a flamenco hand fan in pictures.
She put forgetting the word cucumber down to a ‘brain fart’ because she was nervous about being on live TV.
And she also blamed the bio on her agency’s website – which said she was Spanish – on her reps, claiming they must have taken ‘unverified information from the internet to write a sloppy bio.’
Hillary Thomas-Hayward officially became Hilaria Baldwin at her wedding to Alec, complete with tributes to her claimed Spanish roots, with the bride cooling herself with a flamenco hand fan and nuptial readings in both English and Spanish
‘The things I have shared about myself are very clear,’ she said. ‘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.’
She added that Spain ‘was part of my father’s childhood,’ and that her family had ‘created these deep, deep, deep bonds’ with the country.
‘Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up?’ she said.
In an Instagram video in early January she tried to defend her actions again claiming she spent ‘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 said: ‘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.’
Hilaria added: ‘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.’
In her 2009 tax return, Hilaria first wrote her name as Hilaria, then as Hillary
She also said that ’44 people from Spain’ attended her 2012 wedding to Alec Baldwin.
‘My whole family call me Hilaria. It always kind of bothered me that neither name sounds good in the other language. So I would use one or the other one,’ she said.
Alec also defended his wife over the scandal telling a social media critic to ‘Go f**k yourself’ and posting a video where he slammed Twitter as ‘a lot of s**t’.
Hilaria’s sister-in-law singer Chynna Phillips – who is married to Alec’s brother William ‘Billy’ Baldwin – also defended her in a Page Six interview last month saying: ‘She’s a good woman and none of us are perfect.’
The fall-out from the scandal resulted in major endorsement deals between Hilaria and two brands coming to an end.
Baby brand Cuties Baby Care and doll brand American Girl both revealed in January that they will no longer be working with Hilaria.
Cuties Baby Care confirmed she is no longer serving as a spokesperson after her six-month contract ‘expired’.
‘Hilaria’s partnership with Cuties Baby Care was a six month contract that ran from July through December,’ a spokesperson told DailyMail.com in January.
‘The agreement expired at the end of December after all contractual obligations were filled.
‘We thank Hilaria for the support she provided in 2020 and wish her, and her family, continued health and happiness in the New Year.”
Her deal with the company was first announced in July of last year.
The news comes days after Mattel toy company American Girl confirmed that it is also no longer working with Hilaria.
Alec Baldwin defended his wife in an Instagram video in December calling Twitter ‘a lot of s**t’
It is not yet known whether the yoga teacher’s other brand partners including Mattel toy label Fisher-Price, vacuum brand Bissell, and sparkling water company Spindrift. will attempt to distance themselves from her.
Her apology – six weeks on from when the scandal first broke – comes just days after Hollywood actor Salma Hayek also waded into the drama to say she had also been ‘fooled’ by Baldwin’s claims but defended her saying ‘we all lie a little bit.’
Hayek, who is good friends with Hilaria’s husband Alec and does have Spanish roots, told SiriusXM’s ‘Andy Cohen Live’ she felt ‘honored’ that the fitness instructor wanted to emulate someone of her background.
‘We all lie a little bit. 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,’ she said.
‘It makes me feel proud that people are inspired. I think she’s smart to want to be Spanish. We’re cool, you know?’
Hayek admitted she found the situation ‘bizarre’ but insisted Baldwin is ‘not a bad person’.
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