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Deadline Passes for Leibovitz With Debt Unresolved

By Nicole Bode | September 9, 2009 6:28pm | Updated on September 9, 2009 10:43am
Photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz.
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Flickr user Albert Domasin

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Associate Editor

MANHATTAN — Judgement day came and went for Annie Leibovitz with the world-renowned photographer still scrambling to repay a $24 million loan.

Leibovitz had until Tuesday to repay $24 million in debt to the Art Capital Group — or face losing the copyright to her entire life's work, according to news reports.

"Annie is continuing to work to resolve this matter with Art Capital," a spokesman for Leibovitz said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Leibovitz took out the loan in 2008, using her iconic images and her four homes — three townhouses in Greenwich Village and one upstate — as collateral.

When she hadn't paid the money back by this summer, ACG sued Leibovitz in New York State Supreme Court for breach of contract. The company said she tried to block them from selling her photo rights.

"We have clear contractual rights and will protect them in any scenario," ACG spokesman Montieth Illingworth told the Associated Press.

Leibovitz has shot images of the world's most famous and influential people, from First Lady Michelle Obama to a nude and pregnant Demi Moore.

It's the second legal headache for Leibovitz, who is also facing a lawsuit from an Italian photographer who accused her of trying to claim his photos as her own.

Paolo Pizzetti sued Leibovitz for $300,000 for copyright infringement. Pizzeti's photos of Venice and Rome appeared without his permission in a 2009 calendar for a coffee company, according to the Daily Mail.

A spokesman for Lebovitz told BBC News her "attention remains on her photography and on continuing to organize her finances."