Soccer player Hope Solo definitely has quite a story to tell. She has revealed the pieces of a damaged past in her new autobiography. Check out the sad details of her story here…
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Hope Solo has revealed how she was conceived during one of her mother’s conjugal visits to her jailed father. In a new autobiography, the U.S. women’s soccer team goalkeeper candidly discusses her childhood, and her criminal father, Jeffrey John Solo, who was serving a prison sentence for embezzlement at Walla Walla State Penitentiary at the time.
In the upcoming book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, to be released on August 14, the 30-year-old Olympic athlete writes:
‘He was unreliable at best and a criminal at worst.’
’It’s a complicated thing, knowing how much pain my father caused in my life and the lives of others whom I love, yet still holding love for him in my heart.’
According to an excerpt of the autobiography, published on NBC Olympics, the soccer star grew up in a loving, sheltered environment, despite being conceived while her father, Jeffrey John Solo, was serving a prison sentence for embezzlement at Walla Walla State Penitentiary. It wasn’t until Solo, who was thrust into the national spotlight during the 2008 Beijing Olympics after she became the face of the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the gold medal, was older that she ‘started to see the cracks’ in her seemingly idyllic life.
‘One spring, when I was a Brownie, the Girl Scout Cookie money went missing. Sometimes my father went missing. One morning, my mother went out to get her car and it was gone: repossessed for lack of payment.’
After her father was arrested for allegedly kidnapping the then 7-year-old and her younger brother, Marcus, Solo didn’t see him for over ten years. She recalls how he picked them up to go to a Little League baseball game in Yakima, but ended up driving over the Cascades to Seattle, where they stayed for several days at a hotel. She writes that although it seemed like a vacation, she soon knew something wasn’t right. Her mother called the authorities and police found them at a downtown bank, where they arrested her father.
She says in the book, which was co-written by Ann Killion:
‘As we drove back to Richland, I boiled with anger. I was mad at my mother for taking us home. Mad at my father for lying to us. Mad at myself for doing something wrong. I was mad at the world.’
More than ten years later she spotted her father while walking through a Seattle park; where they reconnected. As Hope developed into a star soccer player at the University of Washington, her father attended all of her soccer games, despite the fact he was living in a tent in the woods. In 2001, police named her father a ‘person of interest’ in the murder of Bellevue realtor Mike Emert. It wasn’t until 2010 that his name was cleared however, when Seattle police turned their focus to ex-Policeman, Gary Krueger, who had been previously jailed for bank robbery and was suspected in the murder before he drowned in Lake Washington that year.
’No matter what he did, he was my father. He helped create the person I am. He showered me with love; he just didn’t know how to be a husband or a father or a responsible member of society.’
In 2007, not long before her first World Cup, Solo arranged to fly him to New York. But before he could make the trip, he died of a heart attack, according to the Salt Lake City Desert News. She reveals how devastated she was, but is grateful for the time she got to spend with him, writing:
’If I hadn’t made peace with him later in my life, I’d still be bitter and angry,’ she says.
The candid soccer star has made a career out of her honesty and openness with the press, securing her spot as one of the most famous athletes at this summer’s London Olympics – and ensuring her autobiography will hold no punches. At the 2007 World Cup, her coach kicked her off the soccer team after he learned she complained to the press about how he benched her during the game. It wasn’t until the coach, Greg Ryan, was fired that Solo was invited back to the team for the 2008 season.
She also made headlines this month after admitting to ESPN The Magazine that she ‘snuck’ a celebrity back to her room, and ‘snuck him back out without anybody knowing,’ after celebrating the 2008 gold medal, and that her team showed up drunk to their ‘Today’ show interview the next morning. Last year, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars where controversy caught up with her again after her dancing partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, pushed her in frustration during a videotaped rehearsal. Solo, who turns 31 on July 30, dismissed the incident until viewers demanded she speak up.
She told Newsweek:
’The public was like, “how can you not stand up for women, for abused women?” And I was like, “whoa whoa. I will always stand up for them.”‘