Dorit Kemsley is speaking out in defense of Hilaria Baldwin amid controversy over her Spanish heritage and accent.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 44, whose own accent has been called into question, said she feels “bad” for Baldwin, 36. Kemsley wrote in a Saturday, January 2, Instagram Q&A that it’s time for the “trolling and bullying” to end.
“I feel bad for what she’s going through in the press at the moment,” the mother of two wrote in response to a follower who asked about “accentgate.” “I don’t think she deserves it. I’ve had so much scrutiny over the way I speak, I’ve learned to ignore all the noise but at first it was really hurtful.”
Kemsley added, “I’m sure all of this backlash has been hard on her. I don’t know her but I’ve followed her for years and I hope she’s back on social media soon. … If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
The Bravo celebrity, who hails from Connecticut, has been asked to answer for her slight British accent several times since she debuted on RHOBH in 2017. During an interview with The Daily Dish that year, Kemsley explained where her way of speaking.
“I think the way I speak is probably a combination of many things. First and foremost, I am married to a Brit [Paul Kemsley] who’s got a very, very strong London accent, and I’m sure some of his inflections have sort of rolled over on me,” she said at the time. “My parents are not American. I was born and raised in America. I did spend a significant amount of time, nearly 10 years, back and forth going to Europe, I spent a lot of time working all over the world and in various places of the world where people didn’t speak English all that well.”
Kemsley’s accent rationale is similar to that of Baldwin, who addressed fake accent accusations via Instagram in December 2020. She admitted that she was born in Massachusetts, not Spain, and that her name is Hillary.
“A bit about me. 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 a video responding to a Twitter thread accusing her of a “decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.”
“Yes, I am a white girl, my family is white … Europe has a lot of white people in them. Ethnically I am a mix of many, many things,” she said. “I care because my thing is about being authentic and then if people say I’m not being authentic, it hurts my feelings … I don’t really understand why it’s turning into such a big thing … I’m getting attacked for being who I am … people wanting to label me Spanish or America, can’t it be both? It’s frustrating that is my story.”
Hilaria returned to social media after a short break to share photos of “evening meditation” with some of her five children, who she shares with husband Alec Baldwin, on Sunday, December 27. The following day she surfaced again to post pics of their artwork, writing, “Look at what the Baldwinitos made.”
The former yoga instructor is said to be struggling in the aftermath of being accused of lying about her heritage and faking her accent.
“She’s completely upset that people are saying that she lied,” a source told Us Weekly on Wednesday, December 30. “This has been such a nightmare for her. She never in a million years would think of this as being harmful to anyone. The part that’s extremely frustrating to her is the contention that she lied when that is just not the case.”
Hilaria spoke to The New York Times about the controversy, detailing her family’s ties to Spain, saying, “My family, this is where they’ve decided to spend their lives.”
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