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Photographer Annie Leibovitz's Deadline To Repay $24M Loan Passes

Annie Leibovitz's deadline to repay a $24 million loan passed as the clock struck midnight on Tuesday.

The celebrity photographer's creditor, Art Capital Group, must now decide whether to work out new loan terms or begin selling the collateral which includes thousands of Leibovitz's photographic negatives, the copyright to every picture she has ever taken and her homes, including one in Manhattan and a 228-acre estate in New York state.

Leibovitz, whose subjects have included Hollywood's biggest stars, put up the assets as collateral last year after she managed to overstretch herself financially with her taste for lavish living.

The company says Leibovitz needed the money to deal with a "dire financial condition arising from her mortgage obligations, tax liens and unpaid bills to service providers and other creditors."

The value of the her portfolio is estimated at $50 million with her New York properties worth another $40 million.

Under the agreement, Art Capital Group would get a fifteen percent commission on the sale of Leibovitz's portfolio and ten percent commission on the sale of her properties.

She could get her hands on the remaining amount from the sales if she paid off the $24 million loan she owes with interest and other fees, however, she would obviously no longer possess the rights to her photographs.

But a default declaration, and a sale of her assets, may not be in the best interests of the creditor as it could force Leibovitz into bankruptcy. That would place the 59-year-old under the protection of a bankruptcy judge, postpone all claims against her while she organizes her affairs, and leave it up to the courts to decide how to distribute the assets.

Her publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, says "Anne is continuing to work to resolve this matter with Art Capital".

Meanwhile, Italian photographer Paolo Pizzett is also suing Leibovitz for $300,000 for allegedly stealing his work and passing it off as her own. Pizzett claims Leibovitz used two of his pictures of the Trevi fountain and superimposed models into the shots to use in her calendar.

September 9, 2009 |

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