A Los Angeles judge has sided with Katy Perry in a legal battle that pitted the popstar against several nuns who tried to thwart Perry from purchasing a Los Feliz convent that she plans to convert into her own sprawling estate.
The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick issued on Tuesday ends a bizarre, two-year fight that brushed up against the sacred and the profane. The legal fight involved a cast of characters that ranged from the “Roar” singer, Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, restauranteur Dana Hollister, the Archbishop of L.A. and, of course, Pope Francis and hit a new low last week when several of the nuns reportedly accused Perry of engaging in Witchcraft.
It started in 2015, when Perry set her sights on the eight-acre Waverly Drive property and tried to buy it from the L.A. Archdiocese for $14.5 million. But before that sale could be finalized, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, led by Callanan and Holzman who claimed to be the rightful owners of the property, tried to instead sell the convent to entrepreneur Dana Hollister.That set the stage for an internecine battle between the Archdiocese, which claimed ownership on all assets belonging to Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In April of 2016, a judge ruled that the sale to Hollister was invalid only to have a panel of state appellate judges reverse that ruling. Bowick’s ruling — issued on March 14 — should be the final verdict on the matter.
“The court finds that the sisters did not have authority to sell the Property to Hollister,” wrote Judge Bowick in her 34-page ruling a copy of which was acquired by The Hollywood Reporter. “Even assuming that the Sisters had the authority to dispose of the Property, which they did not, they nevertheless failed to validly consummate the transaction. The deal documents were not properly documented.”
In a statement, the Archdiocese of L.A. said their main concern has always been the well-being of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sisters. The Waverly Drive property they said had been vacant since 2011 because it had become too costly for the Sisters to maintain and that it no longer accommodated their physical needs. “The Archdiocese was forced to take legal action in 2015 on behalf of all the Sisters when developer Dana Hollister took possession of their property without proper authorization for just $44,000 and a contingent promissory note without any guarantee that the Sisters would ever receive any additional payment,” read the statement. “Judge Bowick’s current ruling upholds her April 2016 ruling, which affirms that the Hollister sale was invalid and that Hollister has no right, title or valid interest in the property.”
In a Daily Mail story published last week, the nuns accused Perry of witchcraft and confronted Perry about a trip she’d taken to the Salem Witch Walk in 2014.
Perry’s bid for the convent now needs final approval from the Vatican.
This story originally ran in The Hollywood Reporter.