New Extension is Latest Development in Leibovitz Photo Case

Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 5:07 PM EDT
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New Extension is Latest Development in Leibovitz Photo Case

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Celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has won an extension on a $24 million loan in a financial dispute that threatened her rights to her famous images, the two sides said in a joint statement Friday.

Leibovitz and the company, Art Capital Group, said the 59-year-old photographer had been given more time to repay the loan. The loan's deadline passed on Tuesday, but both parties had continued to work to try to resolve the dispute. The statement did not specify the date of the loan extension.

"In these challenging times I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their cooperation and continued support," Leibovitz said in the statement.

Her spokesman Matthew Hiltzik declined to comment on specifics of the deal.

Leibovitz's portraits have regularly graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Vogue and Rolling Stone. One of her most famous images depicts a nude John Lennon cuddling with a clothed Yoko Ono just hours before he was fatally shot.

Last year, Leibovitz put up as collateral three Manhattan townhouses, an upstate New York property and the copyright to every picture she has ever taken — or will take — to secure the loan.

Art Capital sued her in July, claiming she had breached an agreement that authorized it to act as the agent in the sale of her photography and real estate. On Friday, Art Capital said that it withdrew the lawsuit and that Leibovitz could retain the copyright to her work.

Leibovitz has "purchased from Art Capital its rights to act as exclusive agent in the sale of her real property and copyrights," the company said. "Ms. Leibovitz will therefore retain control of those assets within the context of the loan agreement which shall prevail until satisfied."

"We're gratified to be able to further assist Ms. Leibovitz to achieve financial stability," Art Capital CEO Ian Peck said in the statement.

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