A source tells ET that the couple and their family are "very upset" that Hilaria's identity and background "are being questioned," following social media claims that she has exaggerated her connection to Spain. The Baldwins are parents to five kids, Carmen, 7, Rafael, 5, Leonardo, 4, Romeo, 2, and Eduardo, 3 months.
"Hilaria is such a soft-spoken, kind, caring and loving person, and the harassment and hate that she has been receiving on social media has been a lot for her," the source says, adding that the controversy has "deeply affected" her and her family.
"Alec has always known that Hilaria is from Boston," notes the source. "Alec unconditionally supports and loves Hilaria in whatever she does and this situation has been no exception. They are focused on taking care of their small five children and being there for each other as a family."
While the source claims Alec always knew Hilaria was originally from Boston (she tweeted in 2012 that she was born in Boston), the actor said during David Letterman's late-night talk show in 2013 that his wife was from Spain.
"My wife is from Spain," Alec said at the time, impersonating his wife talking on the phone with an accent. "I don't mean to be racist when I put that accent on, by the way."
As ET previously reported, journalist and podcaster Tracie Egan Morrissey took to her Instagram Story late last month to share a multitude of posts examining Hilaria's alleged claims of her Spanish heritage, and called into question whether or not she has misrepresented her ethnic and cultural background.
Hilaria was not born in Spain (as some outlets mistakenly reported), but in Massachusetts. Her parents, David and Kathryn, and her brother, Jeremy, now live in Spain, which Hilaria frequently traveled to throughout her childhood. The fitness guru was born Hillary Hayward-Thomas, and later changed her name to Hilaria.
Hilaria first addressed claims regarding her heritage, accent and connection to Spain in a video shared to Instagram on Dec. 27. "I've tried in the past to be clear, but sometimes people don't always report and write what you say," she said. "There's been some questions about where I'm born. I'm born in Boston, and then I spent some of my childhood in Boston, some of my childhood in Spain… everybody is over there in Spain now, and I'm here. So there was a lot of back and forth my entire life."
"I'm really lucky that I grew up speaking two languages and I'm trying to raise my kids so that they speak two languages, too," she continued. "I think people also ask sometimes about how I speak. I am that person that if I'm speaking a lot of Spanish, I tend to mix them... If I start to get nervous or upset, I start to mix the two. And this is something I've always been a little bit insecure about."
Hilaria added that she was always clear with Alec about where she was born from the very start of their relationship. "I'm born in Boston. It was literally the first thing I told my husband," she said. "And yeah, I'm a different kind of Bostonian, and that's who I am."
"You kinda can't change your background, nor would I want to," she continued. "I'm really, really proud of who I am and all my different experiences... It might not fit into your cookie cutter or fit into your label, but it's my weird mix of who I am."
Days later, Hilaria also spoke to The New York Times, admitting that the uproar has been "very surreal."
"The things I have shared about myself are very clear. I was born in Boston. I spent time in Boston and in Spain," she told the outlet. "My family now lives 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."
"There is not something I'm doing wrong, and I think there is a difference between hiding and creating a boundary," she continued. "...Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up? 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."
As for why her and Alec's children have Spanish-influenced names? "Their names are after people who were important to me," Hilaria explained.
"They’re not names that we pulled out of a hat," she said. "All my kids' given names, the first names, are all from people in my life, and they have my husband’s last name. And we were very thoughtful about it."