(NEW YORK) — As the Daily Mail detailed the “Spanish flavored” wedding ceremony of Alec Baldwin and the lifestyle influencer Hilaria Baldwin, she insisted Wednesday to The New York Times that she’s never been unclear about her true heritage.
“The things I have shared about myself are very clear,” she insists. “I was born in Boston. I spent time in Boston and 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.”
The bilingual fitness model and yoga instructor called “very disappointing” a now-scrubbed bio on her acting agency page that previously noted she was “born in Mallorca, Spain, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.” The New York Times reports, “she can only assume the agency used unverified information from the Internet to write a sloppy bio.”
The interview with the Times comes after a Twitter user accused Baldwin of a “decades long grift in which she impersonates a Spanish person,” complete with interviews Baldwin had in which she appears to affect a Spanish accent, and comments about her parents, who are actually from Massachusetts.
That accuser, who subsequently made her viral tweets private, talked to The Times under the condition of anonymity. She noted that Baldwin’s American identity was what the paper described as an “open secret,” adding that the “grift” tweet string came from the fact that, “We’re all bored and it’s just seemed so strange to me that no one had ever come out and said it, especially for someone who gets so much media attention.”
The flap sent Mrs. Baldwin to Instagram over the weekend to “clarify” some details. There, the mother of Eduardo Pau Lucas, Carmen Gabriela, Leonardo Ángel and Romeo Alejandro insisted for the record that she’s a “white girl” born “Hillary,” not Hilaria, which she said is what her Spanish relatives called her and which she eventually adopted professionally.
Baldwin also chalked up to nervousness appearances in which she seemed to drift into a Spanish accent: the Twitter user that started the flap cited a Today show gazpacho cooking segment in which Baldwin claimed on camera not to know the English for “cucumber.” Baldwin insisted on Instagram, “Sometimes I mess it up. It’s not something I’m playing at.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail Wednesday detailed the couple’s bilingual 2012 wedding ceremony in New York City, in which Mrs. Baldwin waved a Flamenco fan and wore a head covering similar to a traditional Spanish mantilla. The paper also cited an interview with Vanity Fair Espa?ol, in which Baldwin recalled how her parents, who are from Massachusetts, couldn’t pronounce “Baldwin.” In Spanish, Hilaria explained, ‘I had to repeat it to my family three times: ‘Baldddwinnn.’ And the third time they said ‘Oh, we already know who it is! Why didn’t you pronounce it right the first time?”
Mrs. Baldwin denied accusations of cultural appropriation, telling The New York Times that her parents’ frequent vacations to Spain, where they now live in retirement, shaped her life.
“Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up?” she tells the publication. “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.”
By Stephen Iervolino
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