It's Tuesday, which means there's another creditor going after nearly bankrupt photographer Annie Leibovitz. As we mentioned earlier, Brunswick Capital says Leibovitz refused to pay $800,000 for helping her land financing to keep her solvent. We have the complaint.
Brunswick Capital Partners is an investment firm Leibovitz turned to last year as her financial world was collapsing around her. They promised to help her find someone to take over the crushing $30 million debt she'd accrued to high-class artsharks Art Capital LLC in exchange for mortgaging her homes and entire photographic legacy. She eventually struck such a deal with Colony Capital last month, staving off default. But according to the complaint, which you can read in full here, Leibovitz simply stiffed Brunswick Capital—she failed to pay the weekly retainer she'd promised the firm as well as the percentage on any financing she eventually landed.
The complaint says that last August, Leibovitz agreed to pay Brunswick a $50,000 fee and $10,000-a-week retainer to search for financing, and that to date, she hasn't paid any of it:
What's more, Brunswick says that Colony Capital, the real estate firm that bailed her out, appeared on a list of potential lenders it provided to Leibovitz. Which means Brunswick is entitled to at least 1% of the valued of the $40 million deal. Brunswick also wants reimbursement for some legal expenses related to its work for Leibovitz. All told, the bill is $800,000.
Representatives for Colony and Leibovitz declined to comment for the record. But two sources familiar with the matter say Colony has never even heard of Brunswick Capital, which makes it difficult to believe that Brunswick played any substantive role in lining up the Leibovitz financing. One source familiar with the situation says Leibovitz did engage Brunswick's services last summer, but stopped working with the firm before the Colony deal emerged. "They had nothing to do with Colony," the source says. "This is a bad joke." As for the retainer Brunswick says it is owed, the source dismisses the claim as "creative accounting."
We'd probably have an easier time believing that if Leibovitz weren't constantly getting sued by everyone she's ever entered into a contract with.
[Research by Gawker intern Sergio Hernandez.]