Annie Leibovitz Financial Troubles Stem From Susan Sontag Inheritance

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UPDATE: I’m now told from a very good source that this is not true.

…most of her financial woes stemmed from her inheritance of her long time partner, Susan Sontag’s, estate.

When Sontag died in 2004, she bequeathed several properties to Leibovitz, who was forced to pony up half of their value to keep them.

via Thanks Ryan.

There Are 12 Comments On This Article.

  1. It’s always good to find out the other side of the story.. I’ve admired her work for many years and had the great pleasure of meeting her at a talk she gave to APA Los Angeles in the late 80’s. She was very gracious when I spoke to her and she signed a poster for me that I bought from World Cup 86. Annie was commissioned to shoot a series of soccer players at various locations throughout Mexico the 1986 host of the World Cup and they were sold as posters. I hope she can resolve the financial hassles she is dealing with and spend her time on her art and raising the children. Also, Sontag’s book “On Photography” was something I still remember, the year it was published, must have been 77 or 78?

  2. Annie Leibovitz is a great lady. from 1980 to 1982 i was the assistant photo editor at rolling stone magazine and i worked with her. one spring evening we were all working late on a friday night but i was using my dinner break to go for a run in central park. annie was concerned–‘it’s almost dark.’ i wasn’t worried, but annie was genuinely concerned for my safety. ‘do you have any money on you?’ no, i didn’t. “here, take this.’ she pulled a ten from her pocket. ‘just keep it on you. if anything happens you’ll have some money on you.’ i went for the run and i did appreciate knowing that i had some cash tucked in my wristband just in case.
    it turned out that, fortunately, i had a safe run and got back after dark to work another few hours. (fridays were the late night.) i returned the ten and thanked her. but i never forgot that genuine concern and i was so touched by it. i am sad to read what she had to go through to come up with these usurious sums of money. she doesn’t deserve this…no one does. my prayers and support go out to her, and i hope it all works out well in the end.

  3. Had they been able to get married, the way she inherited would have been much different, and she wouldn’t be having the financial difficulties she is having now.

    This is a common situation for gay and lesbian couples. We have an elderly friend who lost her home when her partner of 50 years died. She now lives with and is cared for by several young couples who are no relation, other than friends.

    • Michael Sebastian

      @Steph Mineart:

      not necessarily true. A lot depends on how Sontag’s will was written, if indeed she had a will.

  4. Yes, if Annie was granted the same basic rights that are granted to married couples, she would be in a different position now. It is too bad that this is happening to her and I hope she gets through this without losing too much.

    • @Erik Holmberg,

      Eric, the housing market crashed. surely we don’t need to tell you this…I believe its the root of her problems

  5. Ray Cameron

    Annie Liebovitz is a hack photographer whose been getting overpaid for mediocre work for years. I have no sympathy for her “plight” it’s like feeling sorry for the guy who wins the lottery and has to pay taxes on the prize.
    Boo hoo. She’s not anywhere near losing her home and maybe she won’t be able to keep the mansions in CT, The Hamptons and Palm Springs – BUMMER!
    I just hope that her next million dollar campaign shooting t-shirts nets her enough money to pay her laundry bills.
    Oh and by the way I assisted Annie for a while. All you folks who commented on what a saint she is should refer to one of her favorite axioms. An assistant should have the personality of a light stand on set and otherwise. Working around her was like being in an alien movie and having the queen breathing down your neck.

    • @Ray Cameron, So Ray if Annie is a hack, then by all means enlighten us with a list of brilliant photographers that visually live up to the made up expectations you seem to have created in your fantasy land.

      Ps. Assistants are like toilet paper, you wipe your ass with them and throw them away. Why do you throw them away? Because they are shit.

      • Ray Cameron

        @Cali, Annie Liebovitz’s work sucks and she’s overpaid for it. That’s my opinion and you don’t have to agree with it, in case you weren’t aware of that fact. So asking me to justify my opinion by siting other photographer’s who’s work I admire makes no sense at all and has no relevance to what I’m saying.
        Your statement about assistants is just “ass”inine in multiple ways. The point of the story is that she treats people like they are less than human, is disrespectful, rude and obnoxious towards them. This does not have to be the case in a studio environment and I’ve worked with photographers as well known as her who were a pleasure to be around and actually took an interest in the people helping them.
        Did it occur to you that many of the assistants you call ‘shit’ are producing work in their own careers that you probably admire. For instance Hiro assisted Penn for years.
        I don’t like Liebovitz’s work and the way she treats people and have no sympathy for her ‘plight’. Poor Annie’s gotta give up one or two of her manses and take out a loan for her next Bentley.
        The former editor at Rolling Stone talking about what a saint Annie was for being concerned about her safety and giving her 10 bucks….what a joke. Didn’t even occur to Fran, I suppose, that she was being fawned over by a photographer feigning concern and kissing her ass because she was an EDITOR that she knew she might be working for down the road. No manipulation there..Oh no!

      • @Cali, cameron has already replied to your stupidity, let me just add that many assistants are the light and more to many photographers including annie that cant even light a candel,take the light away to many of these photographers and you’ll see what you are left with.about a list of brilliant photographers better than annie, how much time do you have to spare? what you do for a living anyhow?