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Katy Perry banned from China as house purchase dispute is taken to the Pope

By | Published on Tuesday 21 November 2017

Katy Perry

Being Katy Perry is starting to sound pretty tedious. The long-running dispute over whether or not she can live in a house she bought is being taken to the Pope, while she’s also been banned from China.

As previously reported, Perry’s attempt to buy a former convent in LA led to a long-running legal dispute. The musician agreed a deal with the Archdiocese Of Los Angeles to purchase the property in 2015. However, shortly afterwards, restaurateur Dana Hollister agreed a deal with two of the nuns who previously lived in the property to buy it for a slightly higher amount.

There was then a legal battle over which deal should stand. The case went through various court tussles, before a ruling was made in Perry’s favour. Then earlier this month, Perry and the Archdiocese went back to court to attempt to get Hollister to reimburse them the millions of dollars in legal fees they had spent in fighting her.

They argued that Hollister, who already owns a former convent, would have been well aware that she would need approval from the Archdiocese, not the nuns, to buy the building, and had therefore been intentionally trying to derail Perry’s deal.

Hollister has now lost that battle too, with a jury siding with Perry and the Archbishop and ordering her to hand over $5 million to them. So that’s the end of it, right? Wrong.

Another point brought up in the latest court case was that ultimate approval for the convent sale had to come from the Vatican, which neither party had. However, Hollister has now revealed that while legal proceedings have been going through the motions in the US, she has been attempting to get the nod from the Pope – more than doubling the amount Perry agreed to pay for the property – which she hopes to turn into a hotel – in the process.

“I offered up to $24 million, and I am currently at $30 million for the property”, Hollister tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It could be one of the most beautiful properties in Los Angeles – the most beautiful hotel you have ever seen”.

The nuns who agreed the deal with Hollister are also appealing the ruling made in March that said that Perry is the rightful owner of the property. So, amazingly, it looks like this is still going to drag on for some time yet. I think if I were Perry I’d take the damages and run, but this now seems like a point of principle for both sides.

Hollister, at least, is busy framing the whole fracas as a powerful Archbishop trying to trample on the wishes of some elderly, defenceless nuns. “This story is about their legacy of standing up against something very powerful”, she says. “It’s like David and Goliath. It begs the question: Why aren’t you taking the highest offer? Is it because the sisters didn’t obey authority, is that it?”

It might also be that Hollister doesn’t come across as a very nice person, but who knows? I’ve never met her. Perhaps she’s great in real life. But it remains to be seen whether the courts or the Pope are in the mood to overturn past rulings and allow Hollister to buy the religious property.

Either way, Perry has other things to worry about at the moment, as it turns out she’s been indefinitely banned from China, and all because she once wore a dress with sunflowers on it.

Perry had been booked to perform at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai, which took place yesterday. But at the last minute, both she and a number of models involved in the event, including Gigi Hadid, had their visas denied.

According to The New York Post, Perry was banned after it was discovered that she had performed in Taiwan wearing a dress covered in sunflowers – a symbol that has been adopted by anti-China protesters in the country. She also waved the Taiwanese flag in apparent support for the island’s long-running dispute with China.

Hadid, meanwhile, seems to have been banned due to an Instagram video posted earlier this year in which she held up a Buddha-shaped biscuit and squinted her eyes to mimic it. That one seems more clear cut.

The two women are not the first entertainers to be banned from the country, of course. As with Perry, the issue is often showing apparent support for the independence from China of either Taiwan or Tibet, or some sort of approval of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

Lady Gaga is reportedly banned for meeting with the Dalai Lama, while Maroon 5 were barred simply because Adam Levine wished him a happy birthday on Twitter.

Bon Jovi scored a double whammy when they performed in front of a picture of the Dalai Lama at a show in Taiwan, resulting in two shows in China being cancelled in 2015. And Björk got herself a lifetime ban by shouting “Tibet! Tibet!” at the end of a show in Beijing in 2008.

Harry Styles, who has never done anything to offend anyone, replaced Perry at yesterday’s Victoria’s Secret show.