Clifford has been a fixture on British television news programs and in British newspapers, which frequently seek his thoughts on how celebrities can come up with novel marketing strategies to maximize their appeal — and how celebrities dealing with marital breakdowns, drug problems, legal issues or fading popularity can rebound.
His clients include entertainment mogul Simon Cowell, former Harrod's owner Mohamed al-Fayed, and the late reality TV star Jade Goody, as well as dozens of ordinary people who found themselves at the vortex of the news and who sought to sell their stories to the press, which is a common, and lucrative, practice in Britain.
Clifford's easy sense of humor, elegant clothes and friendly manner made him a media mainstay. And he has been comfortable discussing the Savile inquiry with reporters, telling The Associated Press in October that many celebrities were worried they might become ensnared in the investigation.
"They're phoning me and saying, 'Max, I'm worried that I'm going to be implicated.' A lot of them can't remember what they did last week, never mind 30 or 40 years ago," he said.
Clifford did not answer calls placed to his mobile phone Thursday.
The Savile allegations have hugely embarrassed the BBC, which has been accused of failing to report on investigations into their late star's alleged crimes and instead broadcasting tributes to the entertainer, who hosted several popular children's shows.
Four other people have been arrested in the investigation of the alleged abuse. No one has been charged.
British media have identified the suspects as including comedian Freddie Starr and former glam rock star Gary Glitter.
Associated Press writer Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report.