Names & Faces: Annie Leibovitz, Michelle Obama, Michael Jackson, Tim Robbins

Michelle Obama: Has she got a deal for you, GW!
Michelle Obama: Has she got a deal for you, GW! (By Kevin Mazur -- Getty Images For Time)
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Breathing Room

Annie Leibovitz's financial picture just got a bit brighter. The celeb photographer, known for her images of some of the world's most famous people, staved off possible bankruptcy when Art Capital Group, her chief creditor, announced Friday it was extending the due date on a $24 million loan she was scheduled to repay Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, Art Capital said Leibovitz regained control of her properties -- including a farm and three Greenwich Village townhouses -- and the copyrights for all her past and future work, our colleague Keith B. Richburg reports. Leibovitz, 59, had used the property and the copyright to her work as collateral for the loan, and she risked losing it all when she failed to make the repayment deadline.

There were no details on whether the amount she now owes will increase, and what the new due date is for the loan. Art Capital did say it was withdrawing a lawsuit it filed against Leibovitz in July.

"In these challenging times, I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their cooperation and continued support," Leibovitz said in a statement.

First Lady's Challenge

It's an offer they can't possibly refuse: Complete 100,000 hours of community service before the spring semester is over, first lady Michelle Obama told George Washington University students, faculty and staff, and she'll be their 2010 commencement speaker.

The first lady issued the challenge during the first National Day of Service and Remembrance, which capped President Obama's "United We Serve" summer service initiative. The school jumped to accept.

And their chances look good: According to a GWU news release, more than 2,000 undergrads completed 60,000 total hours of community service during the past academic year. Michelle Obama's press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, told GWU's student newspaper that her boss has every expectation to be at the university's May 16 commencement ceremony. "It's on her calendar," McCormick Lelyveld said.

More About Jackson

Michael Jackson died June 25 and was finally interred eight days ago. Now, if you're interested, La Toya Jackson can tell you what he's wearing into eternity.

"He was dressed in all white pearl beads going across, draped across [and] a beautiful big gold belt . . . like a belt that you win being a boxer," La Toya told Barbara Walters this week. Jackson, who died of a prescription drug overdose at age 50, was also buried in sunglasses, full makeup and one of his white gloves.

The interview, for ABC's "20/20," was set to air Friday night.

End Notes

Recovered: WAMU's Diane Rehm, who returns to the radio airwaves Monday. The eponymous morning news-show host spent three weeks recuperating at home after falling and fracturing her pelvis last month. Rehm "is looking forward to being back on-air, and would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words," a WAMU rep said Friday.

Spotted: Tim Robbins at a Reston farmer's market Thursday. The actor (dark three-piece suit, no tie) browsed and stopped to chat with a coffee vendor. He's in town for a sold-out, one-night production of "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" at the Reston Community Center on Saturday (he's the touring company's artistic director).

Quoted: Being 16 "is way overrated. I can't even drive in the city. Can you do more at 17? I don't know." -- "Gossip Girl" actress Taylor Momsen, 16, to New York Magazine. State law stipulates that 16-year-olds cannot drive in New York City -- but we're guessing no one told her that driving in New York isn't that much fun, at any age.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports

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