When celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz shot a lush Louis Vuitton ad in Buenos Aires, she hired a star makeup artist to work on her portrait of movie director Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter, Sofia, lounging in a field.
But the financially strapped Leibovitz still hasn't paid the $28,855 she owes for the 2008 services of makeup artist Dick Page. A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Nassau County by Jed Root Inc. against Leibovitz Studios Inc. states the company received only a partial $5,000 payment for Page's makeup services.
Jed Root, a Manhattan agency that represents makeup artists, describes Page on its Web site as "an industry leader." The Web site says Page has worked on runway shows for high-profile designers Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs.
An invoice attached to the lawsuit shows the makeup artist's fees included $8,000 for one shoot day and $8,000 for two travel days to Buenos Aires. Other charges included $9,280 in round-trip business class airfare.
Great Neck attorney Amos Weinberg, who represents Jed Root, said in an e-mail response to questions that he filed the lawsuit in Nassau for the Manhattan agency because court procedures here for such actions are "less exacting."
Leibovitz - who has a reputation for unbridled spending and owns three Greenwich Village town houses - avoided financial disaster last September when she received an extended time to pay back a $24 million loan to a lender, Art Capital Group.
Yesterday, Georgina Koren - identified in the lawsuit as the Leibovitz employee who signed a written contract for Page's services - had no comment.
"I'm pretty sure that Annie wouldn't want any comments to be made," Koren said and hung up.
Jed Root did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Copies of e-mails attached to the lawsuit show that in 2008, Jed Root employee Dwayne Stephens persistently contacted Leibovitz representatives about the money owed, cheerfully signing his inquiries "Warmest, Dwayne."
But by 2009, Stephens had changed his "Warmest" to a chilly "Regards."