In life as in soccer lately, Hope Solo has had to rely on a strong defense. The superstar goalie defended her ex-Seahawks bad boy/husband Jerramy Stevens when he was accused in 2012 of domestic violence against her, then married him the next day and defended him again when he was arrested two weeks later for violating probation on a 2010 marijuana charge.
She’s currently defending herself against a domestic-violence charge: drunkenly attacking her nephew and half-sister at their Kirkland home in June—a violent, “out-of-control situation” as police called it.
Solo is also defending herself against calls that she be dropped by her club team, Seattle Reign, and suspended by the U.S. Women’s National Team because of the DV accusations. Critics compare the 32-year-old Olympian to another pro athlete, the NFL’s Ray Rice, who was fired by his football team and suspended by the league for the videotaped knockout of his fiancee in an elevator.
Some see Solo’s situation as a double standard: Is she being allowed to play because she’s a white female? Or is her case arguably different from Rice’s?
In the midst of that debate, Solo has also had to defend herself for taking selfies in the nude and storing them on the Web—where the revealing photos were recently pirated by a hacker. She was one of a dozen celebs whose pictures were stolen from an Apple cloud-storage system and distributed by websites last month. The shots of Solo, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and others were apparently uploaded to the iCloud site from their cell phones for safekeeping.
Though the hacking was clearly illegal and an invasion of privacy, Solo and the others were blamed by some for taking the risk of transferring and storing photos in potentially vulnerable cyberspace.
Solo and Lawrence are vowing to sue or seek prosecution of anyone who publishes the photos, and an entertainment lawyer has already threatened Google with a $100 million lawsuit. Yet, even after Google last week stated it was cooperating and had already “removed tens of thousands of pictures” and closed hundreds of accounts that may have trafficked in the photos, a simple Google search turned up a naked Lawrence in just about every nude pose imaginable.
A similar search produced a naked Solo as well—in selfies taken in a mirror, where she is even more exposed than Lawrence. I also found a nude shot of Solo in the least likely place I could imagine, which I’ll get to.
For the record, Solo’s no prude about nudity. She posed in the buff for ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue” in 2011, which was tastefully done. The Reign’s Megan Rapinoe posed for the issue this year, as did the Seahawks’ media-shy running back Marshawn Lynch, who explained, “I’m still gonna let my body do the talking for me.”
“I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy.”
But the theft of Solo’s revealing private photos was an indecency, she said in a statement posted September 23 on her Facebook page. “It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the rights of so many women were violated by the unauthorized release of private photographs. This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency and, as such, I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy.”
In the statement, she again took the opportunity to defend herself against the domestic-violence charges stemming from the family fight. “In addition, while I understand that the public desires more information regarding the allegations against me, I continue to maintain my innocence against these charges. And, once all the facts come to light and the legal process is concluded, I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.”
According to facts that have come to light in charging papers, an angry, intoxicated Solo punched and tackled her teen nephew after calling him fat and crazy, then attacked his mom when she intervened. The nephew clubbed Solo on the head with a wooden broomstick and tried to get her to leave by pointing a broken BB gun at her. But she began “circling like a shark,” the teen claimed, left the house, jumped a fence, re-entered, and attacked her half-sister again. She faces trial next month on two counts of domestic violence.
On her Facebook page, fans and detractors offered varied takes on her statement, from support to nasty comments about her anatomy. Many felt empathy about the piracy but cautioned against the dangers of storing secrets in the clouds.
One apparent admirer perhaps made that point best when he called Solo “sexy” and posted a picture of her. It shows the goalie in full backal nudity, taken by her in a bathroom mirror. It appears to be one of the stolen selfies, lifted from a website and posted to Solo’s page Friday.
It was still up as of Tuesday—along with links posted by readers to websites with more revealing Solo shots.
Welcome to the brave nude world, Hope. See your home page for details.
Rick Anderson writes about sex, crime, money, and politics, which tend to be the same thing. His latest book is Floating Feet: Irregular Dispatches From the Emerald City.