Hilaria Baldwin, a social media influencer and wife of 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, released an apology following a public relations mess where she was accused of faking her Spanish heritage.
The controversy first started after a Twitter user expressed admiration for Baldwin's decade-long "grift" at pretending to be Spanish; in fact, Baldwin has no such heritage. Soon afterward, other users pointed out clips and interviews which suggested that Baldwin had purposefully misled the public about her identity -- most infamously when she pretended she did not remember the word for "cucumber" in English during a cooking segment, per The New York Times.
Baldwin made the apology Friday afternoon on Instagram after taking a break from the platform following the backlash. For her return, the Boston native -- who can boast around 890,000 followers -- posted a photo where she lay on the ground with her husband and five children.
Baldwin began her comment by claiming that she has been spending the past few weeks "listening" and "reflecting" in the hope of personal growth.
However, the 37-year-old then offered a justification for her prior actions by claiming that she was raised by her parents in "two cultures" and that she felt like she belonged to both. It was at this point that the influencer finally offered her apology, though she maintained that the issue was a miscommunication and not a deliberate act.
"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," she wrote.
Baldwin continued to defend herself, adding that she was "proud" of how she grew up and confessing that she planned to raise her own children -- who all have Spanish names -- with a similar love of the Iberian culture.
She concluded by emphasizing her wish to return to a "kind" community.
"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 wrote.
The picture received around 60,000 likes, though comments were disabled. However, that did not stop many from taking to social media websites to voice their opinions on the post, with many frustrated with the "disingenuous" explanation.
"There's a difference between not being clear and knowingly responding to questions in a misleading way. This 'apology' is disingenuous," one person on Twitter wrote.
"Love how these liars try to spin their stories when they get caught in their lies," a second tweeted.