Annie Leibovitz, the world's highest-paid photographer, has six months to raise $24 million for bad debt or she could lose the rights to her expansive photo collection. That includes iconic images like the last living photograph of John Lennon (taken five hours before his murder) and a naked shot of pregnant Demi Moore, along with photos of President Obama, George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.
For a photographer who earns $3 million a year for Vanity Fair, this all could seem shocking. But Leibovitz borrowed the large sum of money over five months last year, using her three homes in New York as securities. At the end of last month, Art Capital Group filed a suit against her for nonpayment and now stands (possibly) to collect her images if she can't pay up. The organization has demanded access to Leibovitz's homes so they can prepare to sell them before the payment deadline of Sept. 8.
As Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter said, sometimes creative minds don't focus on money. But fortunately for Leibovitz, sometimes those creatives have friends in high places who can help them in times of need.