‘Totally Deranged’ Justice Samuel Alito’s Wife Slammed for Leaked Offensive Remarks

By: David Donovan | Published: Jun 11, 2024

Social media users have criticized Martha-Ann Alito’s “totally deranged” secretly recorded remarks.

In an audio recording, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito can be heard saying that she wanted to respond with either a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag or one with the Italian word for shame on it because she had to see Pride flags in June.

Secret Recording

After posing as a Christian conservative at a dinner reception on June 3 hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society, liberal documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor posted the recording to X, formerly Twitter.

President Donald J. Trump watches as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito swears-in new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House.

Flickr user The White House

The video has been criticized for being “horrible” and “vengeance-seeking,” but supporters have defended what they believe is Martha-Ann Alito’s right to express herself by pointing out that June falls under the Catholic calendar’s Sacred Heart of Jesus month.


Alito Controversy

The Alitos have faced a lot of controversy lately over flying an upside-down U.S. banner and an “Appeal to Heaven” banner, both related to Donald Trump’s case that the 2020 political election was manipulated. 

Official 2007 portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito

U.S. Government

The associate justice has said that “reasonable” people were not questioning his ability to remain impartial, which is why he has rejected requests for him to recuse himself from cases involving the election and the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Shifting Blame

Additionally, he attributed the upside-down flag to his wife. Samuel Alito wrote on May 29 in a letter, ” As I have stated publicly, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the flying of that flag.” 

Supreme Court exterior with clouds overhead

Unsplash user Adam Michael Szuscik

He went on to say: “I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention. As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days, she refused.”

Legal Jurisdiction

According to Alito: “My wife and I jointly own our house in Virginia. As a result, she has the legal right to use the property as she sees fit, and I could not have done more to have the flag taken down more quickly.”

Pride flag on a flag pole flying during the day time under a blue sky.

Unsplash user Sophie Emeny

“I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month,” can be heard from Martha-Ann Alito in the video.

Contesting Ideas

She said, referring to her husband, “He’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.’ I said, ‘I won’t do it because I’m deferring to you.” 

Person waving a pride flag with a blue sky and a building visible in the background

Unsplash user Stavrialena Gontzou

In the recording, she continued: “But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up, and I’m gonna send them a message every day.’ Maybe every week, I’ll be changing the flags.”


Flag Design

“They’ll be all kinds. I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it.” Martha-Ann Alito states.

Assorted flags from different countries flying on flag poles waving in the wind.

Unsplash user Vladislav Klapin

She contined: “And in the middle is the word vergogna. Vergogna in Italian means shame—vergogna. V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A. Vergogna. Shame, shame, shame on you.”


Media Conflict

Martha-Ann Alito talked about “getting even” with the media in another part of the recording.

brown concrete gateway during daytime

Unsplash user Ansgar Scheffold

“Look at me. Look at me. I’m German. I’m from Germany. My heritage is German. You come after me, I’m gonna give it back to you,” she said.


Defending the Recording

“I don’t consider Martha-Ann a private figure, given that she’s married to a Supreme Court justice, and she’s a window into his thinking,” Windsor stated to Rolling Stone in support of the secret recording.

Two men in suits smiling and posing for a photo with people in the background

X user mehdirhasan

On social media, people have been critical of the clip. Mehdi Hasan, a journalist, wrote: “Justice Alito’s flag-waving, vengeance-seeking wife sounds totally deranged in this undercover audio recording. Who talks like this? And to a total stranger?”


Conflicting Opinions

Other commentators upheld Martha-Ann Alito’s remarks, with user @hollykam stating: “If one can have a pride flag, the other can have a religious flag. Freedom of speech allows both. It isn’t working”

Jesus statue pointing to Sacred Heart

Unsplash user Jonathan Dick, OSFS

“The horror of a Christian wanting to wave a Christian flag” was added by user @beerandtokens.


Division in the Country

In addition, Windsor secretly recorded Samuel Alito asking him about the country’s cultural divides.

Supreme Court exterior with trees visible and a flag on a pole

Unsplash user Jimmy Woo

Windsor started the discussion, saying: “I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end. I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.”


Justice Alito’s View

In response, the associate justice stated, “I think you’re probably right. One side or the other is going to win. I don’t know.”

With President George W. Bush Looking on, Judge Samuel A. Alito Acknowledges his Nomination as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 10/31/2005

U.S. Government

He went on to say: “I mean, there can be a way of working, a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

Justice Alito’s wife’s comments may have stirred up conversation online regarding the suitability of Alito to remain impartial given his wife’s views.