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The Obamas pose for Annie Leibovitz. Will it help her avoid bankruptcy?

October 23, 2009 | 10:38 am


The photo was released by the White House today, the official portrait of the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  -- President Obama, 8-year-old Sasha, First Lady Michelle Obama and 11-year-old Malia. The photo was taken Sept. 1, and the subjects were all smiles.

The back story is anything but. Leibovitz is best known for her celebrity photos -- like the famous one she did of John Lennon and Yoko Ono the day the former Beatle was gunned down, or the one she did of a pregnant Demi Moore, posing nude.

But lately the photographer to the stars has been embroiled in a financial mess that could lead to bankruptcy and the loss of her photographic catalog. As put it, the Obama photo was taken one week before Leibovitz's deadline to repay a $24-million loan to "high-end artsharks Art Capital Group."

Apparently, she managed to negotiate a deal to extend the due date and retain control of her catalog, at least for now.

In the meantime, a spokesman said the White House did not pay for the photos, but did provide "behind-the-scene access."

-- Johanna Neuman

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