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Hilaria Baldwin defends Spanish roots after being accused of faking heritage: 'There is not something I’m doing wrong'

The yoga teacher and influencer says she has been 'misrepresented' after facing claims of embellishing her Spanish background

Hilaria Baldwin, with husband Alec, has defended her Spanish heritage in a new interview. EPA.
Hilaria Baldwin, with husband Alec, has defended her Spanish heritage in a new interview. EPA.

She stands accused of embellishing her heritage, using a Spanish accent when she is, in fact, US born and bred.

But Hilaria Baldwin says critics are "misrepresenting" her, claiming she has done nothing wrong after being hit with claims she has faked her Spanish roots.

The yoga instructor, influencer and wife of actor Alec Baldwin responded to the ongoing controversy in a new interview with the New York Times, during which she cleared up some confusion around her background.

“The things I have shared about myself are very clear,” Hilaria, 36, told the publication. “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.”

Speculation was sparked last month, after a Twitter user, @lenibriscoe, posted: “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person."

The tweet was followed by a series of clips of Hilaria using Spanish inflections as well as an American accent, news reports that stated she was born in Spain, and even a video of her appearing to forget the English word for cucumber.

The mother of five was born Hillary Hayward-Thomas in Boston to American parents, though visited Spain regularly as a child. Her brother and parents have since moved to the European country.

Telling the NYT she first visited Spain as a baby, she declined to explain how frequently she travelled to the country thereafter, saying it would "be maddening to do such a tight time line of everything".

"You know, sometimes there was school involved. Sometimes it was vacation. It was such a mix, mishmash, is that the right word? Like a mix of different things.”

The bilingual yoga teacher, who has been married to 30 Rock star Alec since 2012, said she doesn't read reports about herself, hence why she didn't know publications such as Hola! referred to her as Spanish-born. However, her own husband has previously stated in a TV interview that Hilaria is from Spain.

“It’s very surreal,” she told NYT. “There is not something I’m doing wrong, and I think there is a difference between hiding and creating a boundary.”

She also revealed she forgot the word for cucumber on live TV as she was nervous, and her Spanish accent fluctuates depending on her mood.

Defending herself against claims of cultural appropriation, Hilaria added that she has been influenced by both the US and Spain.

“Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up? This has been a part of my whole life and I can’t make it go away just because some people don’t understand it.”

Her five children, who all have traditional Spanish first names, were "from people in my life", asking "where is the smoking gun?"

"My intentions are I’m living my life and my life is created by my parents, my different experiences, my languages, my culture."

Hilaria initially responded to the controversy with two separate videos on Instagram last week, but was accused of not directly answering any questions.

“I have in the past tried to be clear, but people don’t always report and write what you say,” she said.

"So, for all of those of you who are confused about where I’m from and why I speak two languages, I grew up speaking two languages and my family lives in Spain.”

Updated: January 1, 2021 04:41 PM

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