Hope Solo Speaks Out About Her DWI Arrest: 'I Let Alcohol Get the Better of Me'
By Miguel A. Melendez
Sam Wasson/Getty Images
Hope Solo is opening up about her April arrest for DWI, the roller coaster of emotions she felt after it happened and the lessons she's learned.
On her Hope Solo Speaks podcast, the 41-year-old former Team USA soccer star said she felt "embarrassment" and "shame" following her arrest in the parking lot of a Walmart in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her children in the car after authorities pulled her over.
"The reality of what this meant was horrific. The embarrassment. The shame. The financial loss," she said. "The thought of explaining this to my children when they’re old enough to search the internet."
Solo took accountability for her mistakes, and she knows she paid a dear price.
"I let alcohol get the better of me in a decision that I will never live down," she said. "A decision that has come at a great cost to me and my family."
Solo said she "had to get to the bottom of why I found myself in that situation, in that moment, with a police officer knocking on my car window."
She said volunteering to enter an in-patient alcohol treatment program to address her challenges with alcohol while waiting for the legal ramifications to play out and dealing with international headlines -- as well as having to cancel her appearance for her induction into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame ceremony -- "seemed embarrassment compounded on top of embarrassment."
Solo -- a two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion during the U.S. Women's National Team's run in the 2000s -- also revealed she suffered her first panic attack ever before entering herself into a 30-day treatment program.
"There were so many days and nights of crying uncontrollably to having my very first panic attack," she said. "The thought of leaving my family behind to fend for themselves was almost unbearable."
But entering into the treatment program is a decision she came to only after it cost her big. Before that, Solo says she didn't think she had a problem with alcohol, which she admitted consuming more and more of after her family's move from Washington to North Carolina at the height of the pandemic.
"We both were exhausted day in and day out," she said. "Winding down with a drink was nice and it's what we looked forward to doing and, well, the drinking slowly increased. We found that it eased the stresses of our everyday lives and we felt that we had the right to do so. We never drink and drove. We never went in public and we woke up every morning to handle our business. I was foolish to think that I had it under control."
She also came to terms with postpartum depression after initially scoffing at the notion. Solo said she looked up the definition and she herself assessed she did not fit the definition. Later, she says, she learned about varying levels of postpartum depression and sought help.
Last month, Solo pleaded guilty to DWI. Her attorney, Chris Clifton, reportedly said the remaining two charges (resisting arrest and misdemeanor child abuse) were dismissed.
Following the plea, Solo released a statement calling the unfortunate episode "easily the worst mistake" of her life.