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 to misleading people 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 over her fake heritage claims.
The 37-year-old had been forced to confess she had been born in Boston and not the Spanish island of Majorca after being exposed online.
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 said: ‘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.
In the next few days several videos of Hilaria’s past TV appearances resurfaced showing her commitment to a Spanish accent.
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.
‘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.’
Records revealed 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.
Hilaria had long described her mother as Spanish, but records showed Hayward is in fact a fourth-generation Massachusetts resident who spent most of her career practicing medicine in Longmeadow.
She have birth to Hillary in January 1984 in Boston.
Dr Hayward’s father and Hilaria’s grandfather, Charles ‘Chuck’ Hayward, was born and raised in Massachusetts, as was his late wife Irene.
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 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 one now infamous Today Show video that surfaced, Hilaria is clearly heard asking for the word for cucumber in English.
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.
Meanwhile, Baldwin’s family ‘friends’ in Majorca said they’d never met her, and that her parents spoke with American accents.
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.
She claimed that she told husband Alec from their first meeting that she was from Boston despite his now infamous 2013 Letterman interview in which he said ‘my wife is from Spain.’
‘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.’
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.’
Hilaria revealed the truth about her upbringing in a rambling Instagram video on Sunday, saying: ‘Yes, I am a white girl. I am a white girl. 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’
‘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.
The fall-out from the scandal resulted in major endorsement deals with 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.
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’.
In her 2009 tax return, Hilaria first wrote her name as Hilaria, then as Hillary