“About four-and-a-half months ago I made the biggest mistake of my life,” Solo began the podcast by stating. “I let alcohol get the better of me in a decision that I will never live down, a decision that has come at a great cost to me and my family.”
Solo pled guilty to DWI charges in the Forsyth County District Court on July 25 and was given a 24-month suspended sentence by Judge Victoria L. Roemer. Solo spent 30 days at an in-patient facility, Hope Valley Inc., as well.
“The reality of what this meant was horrific,” Solo said. “The embarrassment, the shame, the financial loss, the thought of explaining this to my children when they are old enough to search the internet.”
In the podcast, Solo goes on to describe the difficulty she and her husband, ex-NFL player Jerramy Stevens, had with the birth of their children during the start of the pandemic in early March 2020. Their twin children spent 20 days in the NICU.
Solo also detailed that she spent over a year and a half at home while she was quarantined and breastfeeding her children. She explained that after moving from Washington to North Carolina to raise their children, she and Stevens “had no support system and now had two tiny babies.”
“We had children and nobody to share them with,” Solo explained. “Our family and friends do not live in North Carolina, and most of them live on the other side of the country.”
She goes on to describe the exhaustion she felt being a full-time mother and the comfort she began to take in alcohol.
“Winding down with a drink was nice, and it’s what we looked forward to doing,” Solo says. “And the drinking slowly increased. We found that eased the stresses of our everyday lives, and we felt that we had the right to do so. We never drank and drove, we never went in public and we woke up every morning to handle our business.”
Solo explained that she was foolish to think that she had things under control and that the isolation of being across the country began to wear on her despite her choosing to isolate herself.
Solo says that she did not return to her OB-GYN for post-natal care and she was ignorant of the symptoms of postpartum depression.
“My sense of strength and pride became my two worst enemies, and I found myself living the worst night of my life,” Solo explained, adding that she “let alcohol get the better of me” on the day she was arrested.
While in treatment, Solo said she journaled about her history with drugs and alcohol. She noted that though she would not drink or smoke marijuana before events, she would “whether in celebration mode or in coping mode.”
Solo also identified an issue she had with drinking more during times of high levels of stress and anxiety, including her time on “Dancing with the Stars.”
“Like being on a live dancing show in front of millions or huge speaking engagements,” Solo said. “My manager, my agent, my husband and friends all knew to bring wine or champagne to help me loosen up on stage.”
Solo described how she and her husband struggled with full-time parenting and the strain it caused on their personal time with each other.
“We found that our only time together was having a drink once the babies went to bed, and that’s when we started to go down a dangerous road both for our marriage and me personally,” Solo said.
Solo concluded the podcast with this final sentiment.
“Today, I am grateful for my 30 days away, to read, think, pray, meditate and learn, reading and meditation feeds my soul, so does seeing family and friends.” Solo explained. “I realize now my soul was slowly starved and it was all my fault for trying to be strong for my family and being prideful. In my strength I was weak, there is no shame if we struggle with alcohol and addiction.”
In addition to her sentencing, Solo was ordered to pay $2,500 in fines and a $600 fee for the cost of lab tests.
Solo made 202 appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international record of 102 shutouts. She won a World Cup title and two Olympic gold medals with the team during a laudable playing career that was also marred by controversy.
After questioning coach Greg Ryan’s decision to start Briana Scurry against Brazil during the 2007 World Cup, comments many saw as a slight against Scurry, Solo was benched.
Solo also was involved in an altercation with family members in 2014 that resulted in her arrest, although charges in that case were eventually dropped.
In 2015, Solo was suspended for 30 days after she and Stevens were pulled over in a van owned by U.S. Soccer. Stevens was charged with a DUI.
Solo was dismissed from the national team following the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after calling the Swedish team “cowards” for taking a defensive stance against the defending gold medalists, ultimately ending her career.
She was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in January. The induction ceremony was set for May 21, but the Winston-Salem Journal previously reported that Solo requested that the ceremony be delayed until next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.