Italian Photog Says Leibovitz Stole His Pics

He sues for $300,000, adding to her troubles
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 10:32 AM CDT
Annie Leibovitz stands in front of her work 'Monument Valley, Arizona 1993' as she speaks during a news conference in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
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(Newser) – An Italian photographer is suing famed celebrity shutterbug Annie Leibovitz for $300,000, claiming she stole two of his photos, the New York Daily News reports. Paolo Pizzetti says Leibovitz’s associates hired him to scout locations in Italy for a limited-edition calendar Leibovitz was putting together for Lavazza coffee. He sent them images of the locations, but then was told the shoot had been moved to New York.

When the book came out, Pizzetti says he saw his pictures within—with scantily-clad female models inserted in the foreground. “The water falling from the rocks is falling in exactly the same place” in one shot, he notes, while the other shows identical cloud formations. Pizzetti says he never gave Leibovitz—who faces a separate $24 million suit over a loan default—permission to use the shots, and wants the calendar destroyed.