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"My deep connection to two cultures could have been better explained," the mother of five wrote on Instagram in her first post since December

By Jodi Guglielmi and Anya Leon
February 05, 2021 04:38 PM
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Hilaria Baldwin has returned to social media for the first time since she was accused of misrepresenting her heritage.

In her first Instagram post since Dec. 27, Hilaria apologized for not being "more clear" about her cultural background.

"I've spent the last month listening, reflecting, and asking myself how I can learn and grow. My parents raised my brother and me with two cultures, American and Spanish, and I feel a true sense of belonging to both," she captioned a family photo with husband Alec Baldwin and their kids. "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."

Hilaria Baldwin
Hilaria Baldwin
| Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

She continued: "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."

The fitness instructor and Mom Brain podcast co-host, 37, came under fire in late December when social media users alleged that she had falsely claimed to have Spanish roots and took on a Spanish accent despite being born and raised in the United States.

She first addressed the controversy in a video on Instagram, confirming that she was born in Boston and that her birth name is Hillary.

"I've seen chatter online questioning my identity and culture. This is something I take very seriously, and for those who are asking — I'll reiterate my story, as I've done many times before," she captioned the video. "I was born in Boston and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain. My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the U.S.A."

"We celebrate both cultures in our home — Alec and I are raising our children bilingual, just as I was raised," she continued. "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."

Days later, she spoke out in an interview with The New York Times, saying those accusing her of being dishonest "have been confused in some ways by people misrepresenting me."

She claimed she never read the multiple Hola! stories about her that identified her as Spanish and said she found it "disappointing" that her biography on the website of her agency, the Creative Artists Agency, stated that she was born in Mallorca, Spain, where her parents now reside. (It was changed amid the controversy.)

Alec and Hilaria Baldwin
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin
| Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty

Alec, 62, has stuck by his wife's side throughout the scandal, with a source recently telling PEOPLE he "has been supportive and has tried to cheer her up."

Hilaria married the actor in 2012. The couple shares five children: sons Eduardo "Edu" Pao Lucas, 4 months, Romeo Alejandro David, 2½, Leonardo Ángel Charles, 4, and Rafael Thomas, 5½, plus 7-year-old daughter Carmen Gabriela.