Jack Palladino, Private Detective Hired By Bill Clinton To Discredit Affair Rumors, Suffers Near-Fatal Attack

Jack Palladino, a famed private detective who once worked with former President Bill Clinton to discredit rumors of an affair, is reportedly on life support and not expected to survive after suffering a major head injury during a robbery outside his home in San Francisco.

As The Daily Mail reported, the 70-year-old suffered a traumatic head injury during the robbery on Thursday, and stepson Nick Chapman said Palladino is not expected to pull through. He had reportedly just left his home to take photographs in his neighborhood when a car pulled alongside him and a person attempted to steal the camera that was hanging around his neck, a witness said. Palladino fell during the struggle and suffered a traumatic head injury, leading to him undergoing surgery to stop the bleeding.

Police had not yet offered further details or said whether a suspect had been identified in the near-fatal attack.

Palladino's stepson said that he was working on his final case, with plans to retire later this year.

As the report noted, he gained a national reputation for his strong detective skills, working on a number of high-profile cases including Clinton. He initially gained fame after being hired by the family of Patty Hearst to help locate her after she had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Bill Clinton speaks at a political event.
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

A San Francisco Examiner profile published in 1999 noted that Palladino built a reputation for having a very aggressive style that included an ability to counter hostile media. That was a skill he used while working with a number of controversial clients, including disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"I'm not a self-effacing individual," Palladino told the newspaper at the time.

"I am a driven, arrogant person who holds himself and everyone around him to incredibly high standards. I'm very difficult in private life. I don't live for anything but this."
Chapman told the San Francisco Examiner that despite his reputation, he came to know his stepfather as an inquisitive man with a number of passions beyond his work. Chapman would go on to work as a detective with Palladino and noted that he cared deeply about many causes including protecting the rights of the accused.

"He was very passionate about justice, about democracy, about the First Amendment, about people being entitled to the best defense that they could get," he said.

"And he was not blind to the limitations of our justice system."
He also had a passion for photography, which he was doing at the time of the attack.