On Friday, the yoga and health entrepreneur posted an Instagram photo of herself sprawled on the floor with husband Alec Baldwin and their five children. In the accompanying caption, she said she’d been “listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow” in the time since the charges of heritage appropriation were made against her.
“My parents raised my brother and me with two cultures, American and Spanish, and I feel a true sense of belonging to both,” she wrote. “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.”
After noting she was “proud of the way I was raised,” Baldwin added, “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.”
The 37-year-old has been dogged by wild internet speculation since shortly before Christmas when a viral Twitter thread called her out for a “decade long grift.” The accusation referred to Baldwin repeatedly presenting herself as Spanish, when in reality she was born and raised in Boston by American parents.
The damning social media posts didn’t stop there, with several questioning the legitimacy of Baldwin’s sometimes Spanish accent. Additionally, it was revealed that her given name at birth was not Hilaria, but Hillary Hayward-Thomas. A former dance partner also weighed in, telling The New York Times that Baldwin “always” had a “desire to be considered Spanish.”
Days after the controversy broke, Baldwin defended her characterization of her heritage in an Instagram video in which she acknowledged being from Boston, but said she “grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain.”
“We celebrate both cultures in our home ― Alec and I are raising our children bilingual, just as I was raised,” she said in the video. “This is very important to me. I understand that my story is a little different, but it is mine, and I’m very proud of it.”
Although Alec Baldwin once told David Letterman, “My wife is from Spain,” he railed against her critics on social media before briefly deleting his Twitter account last month.
“There’s things that have been said lately about people that I love, that I care about deeply, which are ridiculous,” he proclaimed in a Dec. 27 Instagram video. “I mean, just ridiculous.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter