Mahria Zook, a Hope Solo look-a-like, expects to be on the receiving end of sideways glances and raised eyebrows again now that the soccer star is back in the news.
Coincidentally, Zook was suffering from a black eye when Solo was arrested in June on domestic violence allegations. She wore sunglasses to disguise her injury while working on a film in Eastern Washington, but was getting more stares than usual.
“That entire week, people had been looking at me and people would turn their heads, a little more often than normal. I thought something was up, but that it was probably just my black eye,” said Zook. “Then finally somebody asked.”
‘Are you … are you Hope Solo?’ asked the woman behind the cash register at a gas station.
‘No,’ Zook replied.
‘Are you sure?’ asked the woman.
“The cash register person asked me if I was sure I was not Hope Solo! Then I said, ‘No, I’m definitely not Hope Solo.’ But then it started to make sense.”
She Googled the Seattle soccer star and the first link she clicked on read, “It’s a bad week to be Hope Solo.”
Hope Solo had been arrested less than a week earlier on June 21, accused of hitting her sister and 17-year-old nephew. She later pleaded not guilty to assault charges.
It wasn’t the first time Zook had been recognized as Solo.
The comparison came up a lot during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, when Solo made headlines for both leading the U.S. Women’s soccer team to victory as well as Twitter rants and comments about the sex life of athletes in the Olympic Village.
“People would tell me I looked like Hope Solo and I’d take it. She’s an awesome soccer player,” Zook said.
Despite her visible name tag, Zook was often mistaken for Solo while she was managing a movie theater in Seattle that same summer.
Her coworkers started a running joke, frequently asking her how things were going at the Olympic Village.
Zook might just have one of those faces because she’s also been mistaken for actress Jennifer Carpenter, who played the sister on “Dexter.” Every once in a while someone asks if she’s Katie Holmes.
“People just automatically walk up to me and ask, can I have your autograph? And I say, ‘I’m not famous,'” she said.
“When (who I’m recognized as) suddenly shifts, it’s whenever Hope Solo is having a prominent period in the news. That’s when people will start asking,” Zook said.
At Monday’s court hearing, Solo’s attorney asked for a new court date to make motions to exclude evidence and dismiss her domestic abuse charges. The new trial date is Nov. 4.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.