Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 10:32 UK

Leibovitz loan deadline expires


Deadline for photographer Leibovitz

The midnight deadline for US photographer Annie Leibovitz to repay a $24m (£14.5m) loan has passed without word from either involved party.

The artist risked losing the copyright to her images if she did not pay back the money, but it was unclear what had happened when the deadline expired.

The lender, Art Capital Group, sued the 59-year-old in July, claiming she had breached her contract.

Spokesmen for both sides earlier said they hoped to resolve the situation.

However, after the deadline passed at 2359 on Tuesday night in New York (0359 GMT), Art Capital would not comment further and calls to Leibovitz were not immediately returned.

In 2008, the photographer consolidated her debts with Art Capital, using her work and properties as collateral.

The company said 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."

But the New York based firm said the photographer breached the contract by refusing to allow real estate experts into her properties to appraise their value and also by blocking the firm from selling her photographs.

Multimillion-dollar mortgages

Ms Leibovitz's most famous images include a photograph of John Lennon taken hours before he was assassinated, and a nude portrait of the pregnant actress Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

But the millions she has made from her work have been accompanied by a history of unpaid bills and taxes.

She has multimillion-dollar mortgages on properties she owns in New York.

And her plans to renovate three town houses in Manhattan's Greenwich Village landed her with a $15m (£9m) lawsuit from a neighbour.

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