Salma Hayek Pinault

Soul Brother/FilmMagic

Who the heck would ever deport Salma Hayek?

But the gorgeous Mexican leading lady admits that it was once a possibility because she was living as an illegal immigrant while she was here as a student.

So why exactly did she do it?

After Hayek moved to L.A. in 1991 to study acting, her visa expired. It was her second stint living in the country—as a kid she spent time attending at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.

"I was an illegal immigrant in the United States," Hayek tells the Spanish edition of V magazine. "It was for a small period of time but I still did it."

Hayek's rep confirms to E! News that it's true, but clarifies that Hayek's immigration status was quickly remedied.

"The matter was clearned up immediately as Salma went to Mexico and renewed it.," her publicist says.

The rep adds that Hayek, 44, is now a full-on American citizen—something the curvaceous actress is proud of, even though she once considered Hollywood racist.

"I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when i first started out," she tells the mag. "It was inconcievable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role."

But, she says, the film industry is finally coming around.

"Hollywood has definitely grown, in embracing the inclusion of Latinos in the world, because, for some time, we didn't exist. We were not part of any stories," she says.

"I was privileged to be part of a small generation of people who broke through that door first," she says name-checking Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin as fellow trailblazers.

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