If you were looking for a distraction from the news in the form of some bizarre celebrity gossip this Christmas, Hilaria Baldwin was on hand to provide it.

If you're wondering what exactly going on with Hilaria Baldwin, however - or even who she is – here's a quick explainer that breaks down the basics.

Hilaria Baldwin is Alec Baldwin's wife. She's 36, they married in 2012 and they have five children together: Carmen, twins Rafael and Leonardo, Romeo and Eduardo. She's also known as a podcaster (she co-hosts the podcast 'Mom Brain'), an author (she wrote 'The Living Clearly Method', a self-help guide to healthy living in 2016), a yoga instructor and a wellness influencer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwininsta)

Up until very recently, it was believed that she was also Spanish – considering her heavily-accented manner of speaking, as well as her name (the Spanish version of Hilary.)

However, a surprising thread popped up on Twitter in recent days (which has unfortunately since been made private) that claimed that she was not in fact Spanish and had no Spanish roots whatsoever – despite previously telling the #MumTruths podcast that she had moved to the US for university when she was 19.

Her parents and her brother apparently live in Spain at present, but by all accounts she was born and raised in Boston as Hillary Hayward-Thomas.

The thread by @lenibriscoe, which quickly went viral, included this footage of her appearing on a cookery programme, speaking English with a Spanish accent and seemingly forgetting the English word for 'cucumber':

Needless to say – and with little else happening around this time of year - social media went into 'turbo' mode and old Reddit threads and rumours began being dredged up, and even some former classmates joining the fray.

Baldwin herself addressed the controversy with an Instagram video that saw her admit that she was born in Boston and not Mallorca, as she previously claimed, and that she is “a white girl” who essentially identified with both Spanish and American culture.

“I was born in Boston and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain,” she said in the video's caption. “My parents and sibling live in Spain and I chose to live here, in the USA. We celebrate both cultures in our home – Alec and I are raising our children bilingual, just as I was raised.”

She added: “I am that person who if I have been speaking a lot of Spanish then I tend to mix them and if I’ve been speaking a lot of English then I mix up my Spanish. It’s one of those things that I’ve always been a bit insecure about. When I get nervous or upset then I tend to mix the two. It’s not something I’m playing at … I want that to be very, very clear.”

Her husband also weighed in on the matter, taking to Instagram to denounce Twitter and defend his wife without directly referencing the controversy.

"You have to kind of hack your way through the debris of Twitter. Twitter is just a vast orchard of crap,” he said. "There's things that have been said lately about people that I love, that I care about deeply, which are ridiculous. I mean, just ridiculous. They've said it about people I love – false things. Untrue things.

"And as much as that hurts, the only thing I can do is talk to that half of the public or that portion of the public who understands what I mean when I say: Consider the source. When you love somebody you want to defend them."


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwininsta)

Yesterday, he added another post captioned: 'She wanted to reinvent herself - so what ? Isnt America all about that ? Just please stop insulting people who can see clear facts. Non of her parents is Spanish. She is not Spanish. She admires and loves Spain so much that she reinveted herself as a Spanish woman while many were hiding fact that they are Latino. So there are many ways to defend this - saying that facts are not facts is not one. [sic]”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alec Baldwin (@alecbaldwininsta)


Since then, there have been no further updates - but social media is torn between those outraged that someone has faked their cultural heritage, and those saying 'live and let live'. One thing's for sure, though - it's a hell of a lot better than the news, eh?