Jack Palladino, a private detective hired by Harvey Weinstein to investigate potential accusers and journalists, is on life support and not expected to recover after being robbed outside his San Francisco home.
Mr Palladino, whose client list included Kevin Costner, Robin Williams, Snoop Dogg, and Bill Clinton, had just stepped outside of his Victorian home in the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood when a car pulled up and a thief tried to take his expensive camera. The incident caused Mr Palladino, 70, to fall and hit his head on the pavement.
His son, Nick Chapman, told the San Francisco Chronicle the famed detective is “not expected to survive,” after surgeons tried to stop the bleeding.
Mr Palladino began taking on high-profile cases along with his wife Sandra Sutherland soon after leaving law school, including investigating Patty Hearst’s 1974 kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army, as well as reportedly working for Bill Clinton in 1992 just before he was elected president to quell rumours about extramarital affairs.
More recently, Mr Palladino, whose family said he was working on a final case before entering retirement, was part of a group, which included private investigators and ex-Mossad agents, hired by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to surveil and assess the credibility of various potential accusers and journalists pursuing the case.
According to The New Yorker, Mr Palladino’s targets included a profile on Adam Moss, then editor of New York magazine, which was pursuing a story on Mr Weinstein that never made it to print.
“There was much more static and distraction than I’ve encountered on any other story,” Ben Wallace, the writer pursuing the article for New York, told The New Yorker.
At the time, defending his actions, Mr Palladino told the Chronicle that “the credibility of witnesses and the verifiability of allegations are always at issue in litigation. That is not only our firm’s particular expertise as investigators, but our legal and ethical due process obligation in the representation of our clients.”
Mr Palladino was part of a larger effort from Mr Weinstein to get information on the women preparing to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct. According to The New Yorker, two investigators from the intelligence firm Black Cube used false identities and met with Rose McGowan, an actress who eventually publicly accused Mr Weinstein of rape. One of the investigators also pretended to be a women’s right activist and secretly record multiple meetings with Ms McGowan, as well as deceiving journalists in an attempt to try and find out who was taking their allegations to the press.