Hilaria Baldwin speaks out amid cultural appropriation claims, says she’s been ‘very clear’ about herself

Hilaria Baldwin speaks out amid cultural appropriation claims, says she's been 'very clear' about herself

Hilaria Baldwin is speaking out after getting immense backlash for revealing that she was born in Boston, Mass., and not Spain as she had previously implied. 

The 36-year-old yoga/wellness expert reacted to a tweet over the weekend, which said, “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.” The tweet has since been deleted. 

However, it sparked a firestorm of resurfaced clips and interviews where Hilaria, whose real name is Hillary Hayword-Thomas, seems to unequivocally say she’s from Spain and moved to the United States for college. Speaking in an interview with The New York Times, Baldwin tried to correct some of what she says are misconceptions about how she has presented herself.

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

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Baldwin has claimed she was born in Mallorca, Spain, and raised in Boston. She explained on a podcast in April 2020, “I moved here [to America] when I was 19 to go to NYU from… my family lives in Spain, they live in Mallorca.” The bilingual mother of five’s accent has also noticeably fluctuated over the years when she made appearances on TV. In one damning clip from the “Today” show, she appears to forget the English word for “cucumber.”

Hilaria Baldwin clarified her heritage after facing backlash on social media.

Hilaria Baldwin clarified her heritage after facing backlash on social media. (Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, her CAA speaker page, Wikipedia and IMDB page all previously listed her birth country as Spain. CAA has since removed any mention of her birthplace, while the latter two have made corrections. Speaking in her latest interview, Baldwin blames false reporting and says she has never actively misrepresented her heritage. 

For example, she says she is bilingual and often speaks in various different accents depending on her mood. When it comes to articles and bios incorrectly listing her as being from Spain, she notes that she doesn’t read articles about herself and therefore was unaware that her ethnicity was being incorrectly reported.

As for the “cucumber” moment, she says that she was simply nervous to be on live TV and had a “brain fart,” which is a colloquial term for when a person forgets something basic. 

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Baldwin tells the outlet that instances of her touting her Spanish heritage come down to boundaries. Although she invites the public into her home and life with her husband, Alec Baldwin, and their five kids, she says she values her parents’ privacy. 

Her dad and mom, David L. Thomas Jr. and Dr. Kathryn Hayward, frequently visited Spain for various reasons when she was growing up. Her brother eventually moved there and her parents followed soon after in 2011. Because that’s where her family resides, she said she thought nothing of calling Spain “home.”

Meanwhile, in order to allow her parents to have a private life while she opted for life in the public eye, she claims she avoided talking in-depth about her upbringing.

Alec Baldwin has been defending his wife, Hilaria, following accusations of cultural appropriation.

Alec Baldwin has been defending his wife, Hilaria, following accusations of cultural appropriation. (Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

“The things I have shared about myself are very clear,” Baldwin 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.”

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Despite Baldwin’s explanation, many still accuse the influencer of cultural appropriation. She concluded her interview by saying she does not agree with that comparison given that Spanish culture is and has been a part of her life since she was a child — regardless of where she was born. 

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“This has been a part of my whole life,” she explained, “And I can’t make it go away just because some people don’t understand it.”

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report.

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