Kanye West and photographer Annie Leibovitz may not have teamed up to capture West's recent wedding to Kim Kardashian, but the artistic heavyweights are working together now to squash reports of drama between them.
On Tuesday, June 17, West, 37, was speaking at the Cannes Lions Creativity Conference, when he mentioned Leibovitz, 64. The newlywed rapper spoke about his now-famous Instagrammed wedding photograph with wife Kardashian, 33, saying, "Let me tell you something about that kiss photo that my girl put up… [it] was pissing my girl off during the honeymoon. She was exhausted because we worked on the photo so much because Annie Leibovitz pulled out right before the wedding."
West continued, claiming that Leibovitz, who shot the couple for their Vogue cover months earlier, likely pulled out of the gig because she was, "like, scared of the idea of celebrity." Leibovitz has famously been photographing celebrities from John Lennon to Brad Pitt to Nicole Kidman to Bill Clinton for more than forty years.
He went on, explaining, "We sat there and worked on that photo for, like, four days because the flowers were off-color… It was a long time… Why did Annie Leibovitz pull out one day before the wedding?"
Forty-eight hours after he made the accusations, West released a joint statement with Leibovitz to Us Weekly, changing his tune.
"Kanye West’s comments about Annie Leibovitz while speaking at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival have been taken out of context and sensationalized," the statement reads. "Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding, he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way. Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding."
The statement included a quote from a representative for the shutterbug, reading, "Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed."
"It was Kanye’s dream to bring together for the wedding his favorite creatives—Riccardo Tisci on the dress, Vanessa Beecroft on the experience, and Andrea Bocelli—Kim’s favorite singer—singing Kim’s favorite song as she walked down the aisle," the joint explanation continued. "The first choice to capture one of the most special days in Kim and Kanye’s life: Annie Leibovitz. Annie Leibovitz—the legendary photographer responsible for Kim and Kanye’s recent Vogue cover—is not known to shoot weddings. But Kanye West dreams big. He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event."
While Leibovitz's absence may have been a loss for Kardashian, it was a win for Conor McDonnell, a 22-year-old photographer who nabbed the wedding gig. His image of Mr. and Mrs. West kissing in front of a wall of flowers earned him the title of taking the most-liked photo on Instagram.