"They can't believe this Mexican ended up in the life that she has." 

By Alicia Brunker
Updated Mar 06, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Salma Hayek is out here defending her marriage to Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault, who is worth an estimated $7 billion. (ICYMI: Kering is the parent company of luxury fashion brands including Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent.)

In the April cover story for Town & Country, the actress gets candid about the perceived racism she experiences as a Mexican woman married to one of France's richest men.

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

“A lot of people are very shocked that I married who I married,” she told the publication. “And some people are even intimidated now by me. But it’s another way of showing racism. They can’t believe this Mexican ended up in the life that she has, and they’re uncomfortable around me.”

In 2002, Salma catapulted to fame for her role in the film Frida, a biopic about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which earned her a Best Actress nomination. The film was produced by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and he disputed her allegations of harassment on set.

"There is a theory that woman of color are easier to discredit,” Hayek explained, adding that she has experienced "millions" of other incidents of racism, including comments about her marriage.

For the most part, Hayek is secretive about her relationship with Pinault, rarely speaking about their romance in the press. The pair, who wed in 2009, share 11-year-old daughter Valentina Paloma. “[Pinault] is the best husband in the world,” she offered about her partner. “I get to be who I am with him, and I don’t feel that somebody tries to limit me."

She continued: “I’m very hard to put in a box. It’s hard to understand who I am for them. And maybe it’s the wrong thing, but to study human behavior is what attracts me to acting most. And I find I don’t judge it — I just observe it.”