Annie Leibovitz is being sued by a New York finance company that lent her $24 million and now claims she reneged on the deal, which was prompted by the celebrity photographer’s severe financial problems.
Beset by tax liens, mortgages, and unpaid bills, Leibovitz approached Art Capital Group last year for the loan, using as collateral her artworks, photography archives, and real estate in Greenwich Village and Rhinebeck, N.Y., the legal complaint says. Included were every photo she’s taken, such as her widely shown images of John Lennon, John Belushi, and a pregnant and nude Demi Moore. Under the deal, Art Capital had the right to sell all of her photographs as well as her homes. The breach of contract suit claims Leibovitz and her associates are now trying to ignore their obligations, alleging that she blocked Art Capital’s right to act as her exclusive sales agent, failed to pay “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in invoices, and denied real estate agents access to her properties. A spokesman for Leibovitz denies the allegations and charges that she is the victim of “continued harassment” by Art Capital.