Artist News Legal

Katy Perry’s attempted convent purchase is back in court

By | Published on Wednesday 8 November 2017

Katy Perry

The latest chapter in the hoo haa surrounding Katy Perry’s attempt to purchase a former convent in LA reached court this week, as Perry and the Archdiocese Of Los Angeles attempt to claw back some of the legal costs accrued fighting the original case.

As previously reported, Perry agreed a deal to purchase the property with the Archdiocese Of Los Angeles for $14.5 million back in 2015. But, shortly afterward, local restaurateur Dana Hollister agreed a separate deal for $15.5 million with Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, two nuns from the California Institute Of The Sisters Of The Most Holy And Immaculate Heart Of The Blessed Virgin, which had previously resided in the convent.

This led to two years of arguments between the Archdiocese, the nuns, Hollister and Perry as to who had the right to sell the property, and who had actually bought it. The latest squabble centres on allegations by the Archdiocese and Perry that Hollister knowingly interfered in their property deal by misleading the nuns, thus forcing them to participate in two years of unnecessary and expensive legal back and forth.

Opening the trial, Perry’s lawyer’s argued that Hollister’s actions were a deliberate attempt to derail Perry’s deal in order to acquire the building for herself. In doing so, he said, she misled the two nuns into believing they had the authority to sell the property, knowing full well – having bought another former convent in the 1990s – that she would require the approval of both the Archdiocese and the Vatican to complete any deal.

“This was her action plan”, Perry’s lawyer Eric Rowen said, according to NBC Los Angeles. “[Hollister] schemed to prevent Katy Perry from acquiring the property”.

This, they said, led to a “litigation nightmare”, which has so far cost the church $3 million in legal fees, according to Courthouse News. And this was only exacerbated by Hollister’s decision to continue fighting after her deal was cancelled by the Los Angeles Superior Court last year.

Hollister’s lawyers countered that while she may have indeed been mistaken in believing that the nuns had the authority to sell the property, she did not proceed with her own deal maliciously.

They also pointed out that – while the courts have generally sided with Perry in this dispute – the musician has not yet gained the required approval to buy the property from the Vatican, meaning neither she nor Hollister can currently complete any deal. Though, so far, sisters Holzman and Callanan are the only two parties to have actively opposed the Perry deal.

The Archdiocese and Perry are suing together, with the church seeking $3.5 million in damages from Hollister and the musician seeking $2 million. Perry herself will not testify or appear at the trial.