Celebrities who have been caught LYING about where they came from

Stars in their lies! The celebrities who have been caught out in fibs and outrageous embellishments about their backgrounds

  • FEMAIL reveals some of the weirdest fibs famous people have told 
  • READ MORE: Who is Hilaria Baldwin? A look inside the yoga instructor and mother-of-seven’s life 

Being in the public eye means the details of your life can be put under a microscope – which is why it’s usually best to be honest about where you come from.

However, while many celebrities own their backgrounds and have no reason to be dishonest about their origins, some famous people can get caught telling slightly embellished stories about their past.

Some of these inconsistencies in the origin stories of famous people are likely to be completely innocent recollections of events from years past.

But from time to time, the stories they tell about how they came to be famous are so far from the truth, they leave fans completely baffled.

Here, FEMAIL has collected some of the tales people in the public eye have told that weren’t quite what they seemed, from harmless embellishments to outright nonsense… 


Hilaria Baldwin, who shares seven children with her husband Alec, claimed she was born in Spain and moved to the US in 2003 to study

In reality, Hilaria was revealed to be called Hillary Hayward-Thomas and was born and raised in Massachusetts, where she went to a posh private school

Hilaria Baldwin, who is married to Hollywood actor Alec with whom she shares seven children, claimed for several years she had been born in Mallorca, Spain.

Explaining how she ended up in the US, the podcast host said she moved to the East Coast of America in 2003 to attend New York University and never left.

For a time, there was no reason for people to doubt Hilaria’s story – particularly because she had a Spanish accent to boot, adding to the authenticity of her claims.

In one now infamous Today Show video that surfaced, Hilaria appeared to forget the English word for cucumber.

Hilaria had long described her mother as Spanish and, in a November 2012 interview, said her family couldn’t understand how to pronounce her new surname Baldwin.

She said: ‘I had to repeat it to my family three times: Baldddwinnn. And the third time they said Oh, we already know who it is! Why didn’t you pronounce it right the first time?’ 

But Hayward is not Spanish and is in fact a fourth-generation Massachusetts resident who spent most of her career practicing medicine in Longmeadow, records show.  

Hayward gave birth to Hillary in January 1984 in Boston.   

However in 2020, her facade sensationally cracked when internet sleuths began to uncover the truth about her background and learnt she was in fact born Hillary Hayward-Thomas, and attended exclusive $64,900-a-year The Cambridge School of Weston in Massachusetts. 

They were also quick to uncover details about Hilaria’s parents, Dr Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas, who worked in the US for years before retiring to Majorca in 2011, when Hilaria was 27 years old.

At the end of December that year, it emerged that Hilaria actually spent her childhood in Beacon Hill, Boston, and went by Hillary.

It started with a single tweet on December 21 which read: ‘You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person’.  

The woman then continued to post videos and proof of how Hilaria’s accent has changed over the years. 

Several former classmates came forward to confirm that Hilaria was in fact raised in Weston, Massachusetts, by American parents without a hint of a foreign accent. 

‘I went to high school with her. Genuinely lovely person, I recall, but fully a white girl from Cambridge,’ one wrote. 

Another added: ‘I went to high school with her. She was perfectly nice and serious about ballroom dancing. Her name was indeed Hillary Hayward-Thomas and she did not have her current accent.’ 

The woman who first exposed the fraud, later told The New York Times that it was an ‘open secret’ in Manhattan that Hilaria had faked her heritage, and that she and her friends, ‘bored’ from the pandemic, decided finally to expose the secret. 

In the next few days several videos of Hilaria’s past TV appearances resurfaced showing her commitment to a Spanish accent.

A resurfaced tax form also revealed Hilaria took two attempts to get her name right as she toyed between her birth name and the adopted Spanish version. 

The document shows she crossed out both the first name and last name of the 2009 W-4 document before finally decided on Hillary L. Hayward-Thomas – the name she was born with – on her second attempt.      

But records surfaced revealing that Hilaria’s parents, Dr Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas, were also both Massachusetts’ natives and had lived and worked in the US for years only moving to Majorca in 2011 when they retired.   

DailyMail.com discovered records showing Hilaria’s parents bought a 100-year-old $4million house in the heart of the most desirable district in Boston called Beacon Hill when their daughter was just three years old. 

They didn’t move out till she had turned 28. 

DailyMail.com also discovered the only property her parents currently own on the island of Majorca in their names are two apartments in the center of Inca which they purchased last summer.       

Meanwhile, Baldwin’s family ‘friends’ in Majorca told DailyMail.com they’d never met her, and that her parents spoke with American accents. 

One restaurant owner where Hilaria’s dad David Thomas and her mom own property, said ‘to the best of my knowledge Hilaria’s never been here.’

‘Jeremy’s [Hilaria’s brother] parents understand Spanish and speak it but with a foreign accent and Jeremy is fairly fluent,’ he said. 

‘But when they’re together here, they speak to each other in English.’ 

A neighbor said she knew Hilaria’s brother had gone to Majorca on a school exchange trip and that is when the family started to fall in love with the island.   

After the truth was uncovered, Hilaria was forced to film a video on Instagram in which she addressed the narrative she had been weaving for years.

‘Yes, I am a white girl. I am a white girl,’ the influencer admitted in a rambling seven-minute video.

‘Let’s be very clear that Europe has a lot of white people in there and my family is white. Ethnically, I am a mix of many, many, many things. Culturally, I grew up with two cultures so it’s really as simple as that.’

Seeking to quell the social media firestorm in her video, Hilaria said that she spent ‘some of’ her childhood in Spain and ‘some’ of it in Massachusetts, where she was born. She maintained that her entire family lives in Spain now.

Hilaria added: ‘Yeah I’m a different kind of Bostonian but that’s who I am, and you kind of can’t change your background – nor would I want to – I’m really, really proud of who I am.’ 

Hilaria hit back over the scandal in a cringe-worthy New York Times interview in December where she pinned the blame for the deception on the media for ‘misrepresenting me’ which had caused people to be ‘confused’ about her heritage. 

But the interview itself was full of contradictions from her previous accounts. 

She claimed that she told husband Alec from their first meeting that she was from Boston’. 

‘I walked by him,’ Hilaria told the Times of meeting Alec in a vegan restaurant in 2011. 

‘He said, “Where are you from?” And I said, “I’m from Boston.” That was the first thing I said, that has always been my narrative.’

This contradicted Alec’s now infamous 2013 Letterman interview in which he said ‘my wife is from Spain.’

The couple also gave their five children Spanish names and incorporated several elements of Spanish culture into their wedding with readings in both Spanish and English, Hilaria waving a flamenco hand fan in pictures.      

She put forgetting the word cucumber down to a ‘brain fart’ because she was nervous about being on live TV.  

And she also blamed the bio on her agency’s website – which said she was Spanish – on her reps, claiming they must have taken ‘unverified information from the internet to write a sloppy bio.’  

‘The things I have shared about myself are very clear,’ she said. ‘I was born in Boston. I spent time in Boston and in Spain. 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.’

She added that Spain ‘was part of my father’s childhood,’ and that her family had ‘created these deep, deep, deep bonds’ with the country.

‘Who is to say what you’re allowed to absorb and not absorb growing up?’ she said.


Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes initially told the world they were brother and sister 

In reality, the garage rock duo were married, and were exposed buy a newspaper in their hometown of Detroit

When Jack and Meg White burst onto the scene as The White Stripes in 1999, they were lauded as a groundbreaking brother-and-sister rock band.

As they performed onstage, Jack often introduced his bandmate as ‘my sister’, with no one ever really questioning their relationship to each other.

However in 2001, rumours began to emerge that the pair were not actually siblings – they were a married couple. 

Speaking to NME magazine about the rumours that year, Jack said: ‘We’re brother and sister. 

‘Someone started a rumour about how we used to be married and we played along with it. 

‘That was a bad idea, we get asked this all the time now.’

But the following year, a newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, from where the music duo hail, confirmed that the rumours were indeed true, and Jack and Meg were married. 

It also confirmed that Jack, whose real name is John Gills, had taken Meg’s surname White when they tied the knot. 

At the time Jack was quoted as saying: ‘Frankly, we’re kind of tired with all the attention on the brother-sister thing. 

‘The White Stripes are about the music, and we don’t want that to be lost.’ 

As fans were left reeling by the revelation, the pair did not reveal the truth behind the nature of their relationship for several years.

However in 2005, Jack told Rolling Stone Magazine the lie they had weaved was necessary in order to have others take their music seriously.

He said: ‘If we had presented ourselves in another fashion… how would we have been perceived, right off the bat?

‘When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, ‘Oh, I see…

‘When they’re brother and sister, you go: ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ You care more about the music, not the relationship.’

In fact, they had met in a restaurant in Detroit were Meg was working and Jack Gillis, his original name at the time, would visit. Soon they began dating and married in September 1996.

Meg played Jack’s drums for the first time in 1997 and it was said she was a natural. The two soon became The White Stripes and played their first gig at the Gold Dollar in Detroit.

They released their debut album in 1999, and a year later followed up with a second. But as their success built their marriage fell apart and they divorced in 2000.

Despite their split, the two continued to play live together and enjoyed huge success. They built an unconventional friendship through their love of music, and Meg’s second marriage in 2009 was held in Jack’s backyard in his Nashville home.

In February 2011, the band reported on their official website they were disbanding and they never wrote any more music or played live together again.


Rick Ross (pictured performing at the Kelce Jam music festival in April) boasts about pushing drugs in his songs

In 2007 a photo emerged of Ross wearing a correctional facility officer uniform as reports confirmed he had worked in the role for 18 months in his early 20s

Rick Ross’s expletive-laden rap songs boast about pushing drugs including ‘dope’, curating an image of himself as a gangster.

But in 2007, a photo emerged of the rapper in what appeared to be the uniform of a correctional facility officer, suggesting his lyrics about being a drug kingpin were somewhat inaccurate.

Initially, Ross denied it was him in the photo, but when Smoking Gun published social security details which appeared to confirm he had been employed by the South Florida Reception Center as a correction officer for 18 months, the game was up.

Ross admitted he had worked in the role from 1995-1997 when he was in his early 20s, but insisted his lyrics were about ‘real’ experiences.

He told XXL magazine: ‘The stuff I talk about is real. The dope is real.’

Ross also insisted he never actually worked in a prison, as he had not worked his way up to the position.

He also revealed he was on a salary of $1,000 per month and he did not enjoy the work at all.


James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, was exposed in 2006 for lying about several incidents in what he claimed was a ‘memoir’

When Oprah Winfrey chose James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces to be her read of the month in her famed book club in September 2005, she helped it become a million-seller.

Frey wrote the book as a memoir about how he battled with substance abuse over several years, leading to several spells in rehab and leaving him with a criminal record.

However, in 2006, Smoking Gun posted an exposé called A Million Little Lies, which accused Frey of making up large parts of his memoir.

Among the allegations were that Frey made up an incident in which he got into an altercation with police officers while he was high on crack cocaine.

Where the book claimed Frey had spent 87 days in jail, it emerged he had actually only spent five hours in police custody before he was released after posting a bond of a few hundred dollars.

As allegations continued to mount, Oprah invited Frey onto her sofa to explain his side of the story – in which he admitted most of the claims made against him were true. 

In response, Oprah told the author she felt duped, and that he had betrayed millions of readers.

In 2011, five years after the revelations had emerged, Oprah and Frey sat down for another chat where he reflected on the embellishments he had made to the memoir.

He explained: ‘I made a mistake, and at a certain time, it came time to pay for it, and I paid for it.’

It has since been revealed that Frey first tried to market the book as a fictitious novel.

‘Nobody wanted to publish it as a novel,’ he said. ‘At a certain point, I got the opportunity to publish it as a memoir. 

‘It wasn’t necessarily how I imagined it, but I wanted it published. I wanted it out in the world, and I said yes.’

Meanwhile James told Oprah that he’s never watched their infamous previous interview.

‘I think of it as sort of a personal car crash for me,’ he said. ‘I just don’t want to watch it. It was definitely not my finest day.’

Frey said he felt Oprah had ambushed him in the episode after being told by producers that the show was about the ‘flexibility’ of truth.

‘I thought I got ambushed, absolutely,’ he said.

‘I felt like I got ambushed. I think even had I known what I was walking into, I probably still would have walked into it.

At the end of it, it didn’t matter what happened on that show because in some ways I deserved it.

‘You know, I made a mistake, and at a certain time, it came time to pay for it, and I paid for it.’

It has since been revealed that Frey first tried to market the book as a fictitious novel.

‘Nobody wanted to publish it as a novel,’ he said.

‘At a certain point, I got the opportunity to publish it as a memoir

‘It wasn’t necessarily how I imagined it, but I wanted it published. I wanted it out in the world, and I said yes.’


Gordon Ramsay (pictured playing in Soccer Aid 2008) claimed in his autobiography that he  played a few games as a trialist for Glasgow Rangers

He is known for being a potty-mouthed chef who is one of the best in the business, holding a total of 17 michelin stars across his fine dining restaurants. 

However, Gordon Ramsay initially had dreams of being a star footballer long before he entered a professional kitchen.

Ramsay first boasted of his link with Rangers in interviews to mark the launch of his first restaurant, Aubergine, in 1994.

He said he had spent three years with Rangers but a knee injury at 18 meant he had to give up football.

He has repeated his boasts in a series of interviews, to the scorn of Rangers fans in his home city of Glasgow.

In 2002 on Desert Island Discs he told host Sue Lawley that he was spotted by a Rangers scout while playing for Oxford United’s youth team.

He said: ‘That’s how it started: Going up back to Glasgow and summer holidays and then eventually signing.’

In previous interviews he said he spent three years with Rangers, and he told Miss Lawley: ‘I got my first team games. I was with the first team squad. I played three first team games.

The father-of-five, who takes part in celebrity charity football match Soccer Aid almost every year, claimed in his autobiography that he played ‘a couple of non-league matches as a trialist for [Glasgow] Rangers’.

Describing the moment his ‘football career’ ended, he said: ‘I got asked to go to the office on a Friday morning with Jock Wallace [Rangers manager] and Archie Knox, the first team coach.’

At the meeting he was allegedly told that he wouldn’t make it as a player.

However in 2009, Rangers officials demolished his boasts that he played professional football matches during three years at the club.

And a spokesman for Ramsay appeared to confirm that he has embellished his footballing past, saying: ‘Any inaccuracies . . . can be explained by the fact that all this occurred nearly 25 years ago.’

Since writing the autobiography, Ramsay has admitted that his recollection of the trials at Rangers are actually a little bit ‘hazy’.

As evidence of his time with Rangers, Ramsay produced a team photo showing him in full kit, boasting that he played in a reserve match against Celtic.

But while the caption mentions the other players by name, Ramsay is labelled simply as ‘triallist’. And Rangers historian Robert McElroy said: ‘It’s all nonsense.

The reserve team was really good but Ramsay wasn’t even a signed player and wasn’t in it.’

A spokesman for Ramsay said: ‘Gordon was a promising schoolboy who was monitored by Rangers over a three-year period during his school holidays when he attended their Youth Policy.

‘During this time he played a couple of non-league matches as a triallist. A knee injury put paid to any further hopes of being signed by Rangers.’


Kid Rock made his name as a hip hop artist who epitomised the so-called ‘white trash’ culture

In reality, the young Robert James Ritchie grew up on a sprawling estate where he picked apples in an orchard and tended to family horses

Kid Rock made his name as a tattooed, vest-wearing, snapback-donning hip hop artist who epitomised so-called ‘white trash’ culture (an image for which he has been widely criticised).

While many people found his entire image offensive to working-class Americans, some took even further issue with his aesthetic considering that the rapper is not even from a working class background.

Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, grew up on a sprawling estate owned by his mother Susan and father William Ritchie, who owned a string of car dealerships.

His upbringing was a far cry from the ‘trailer park’ life he has sung about in his songs – which tipped over into the country rock genre.

While growing up on his father’s enormous estate, he picked apples in the orchard and tended to the family’s horses.

After his hyper-privileged background was revealed, Ritchie was cricicised for his ‘fake redneck’ status.

An article in the Detroit Free Press in 2017 also accused him of ‘cultural appropriation of black music’.

Source: Read Full Article