Hilaria Baldwin, the wife of actor Alec Baldwin, has publicly apologized for misleading people about her heritage, saying that she could have done a better job explaining why for years she claimed to have Spanish heritage.
The yoga instructor — who was born Hillary Hayward-Thomas in Boston — posted her mea culpa to Instagram late Friday, saying that “I should have been more clear and I’m sorry.” She also reiterated her claim that her parents raised her in a bi-cultural household that was part American and Spanish.
“I feel a true sense of belonging to both,” she wrote.
The scandal over Hilaria Baldwin’s background erupted in December after social media skeptics began debunking her claims to Spanish roots. She later acknowledged her true heritage in an Instagram video but stopped short of apologizing.
Since then, she has lost a brand partnership with Cuties Baby Care and has endured widespread public mockery.
“I’ve spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow,” she wrote on Instagram Friday. “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.”
People magazine has reported that through the scandal, husband Alec Baldwin has remained supportive and has tried to “cheer her up.” The couple, who married in 2012, has five children.
For years, Hilaria Baldwin appeared to pass herself off as someone with Spanish heritage. She occasionally spoke with a Spanish accent during public appearances, and her Creative Artists Agency biography once claimed that she was born in Mallorca, Spain.
The New York Times interviewed her former competitive dancing partner who said that “it was always her desire to be considered Spanish.” In the article, Baldwin said that her Spanish accent comes and goes depending on her mood.