Photographer Annie Leibovitz, overexposed, is forced to sell her life's work


Famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz is broke. The woman who shot John Lennon on the same day that Mark David Chapman did, the one who has done portraits of everyone from Queen Elizabeth to a pregnant Demi Moore, has had to sign away the copyrights, negatives, and contracts for all her work to a high-class pawn shop. That includes everything she's going to shoot in the future. In return, she gets $15.5 million to pay her debts, given at an interest rate of between 6-to 16%.

Many press reports are tracing the photog's money woes to 2004, when her partner Susan Sontag died and left her more properties and debt than she could handle. Certainly, the added financial pressure put her over the edge, and you have to wonder how things might have been different had Sontag and Leibovitz been granted the property rights and benefits that heterosexual couples get.