Katy Perry Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Payout In Legal Battle Against Nuns

Rich FuryGetty Images

Katy Perry has reportedly been awarded a multi-million dollar payout following a lengthy legal battle against a group of nuns.

The pop star had originally planned to purchase a convent in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles for $14.5 million and turn it into a luxury home, but she has been locked in a three-way legal battle with the archdiocese, the nuns who live on the site, and a rival developer named Dana Hollister, who wanted to transform the residence into a boutique hotel.

With multiple offers on the table, the New York Daily News reported that the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary decided to sell the hilltop property to businesswoman Dana Hollister, with one of the nuns claiming, “[Perry] was a very lovely person but her offer is not as good as Dana’s.”

“We’re looking for someone who will care for our property and let it be open for the public to enjoy. She wants it for a private home, a hideaway.”

According to reports, Ms. Hollister made her purchase of the eight-acre property with the co-operation of Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, who apparently made the sale without the approval of the archdiocese. The site includes multiple structures, a courtyard, a large swimming pool, and surrounding fountains. It was purchased by Hollister for $44,000, with an agreement to pay an additional $9.9 million after three years.

Katy Perry performing onstage at the Wango Tango in May, 2017.
Two of the nuns involved in the case registered their disapproval of the pop star.Featured image credit: Rich FuryGetty Images

This allegedly came after the nuns discovered the apparent provocative nature of the “Roar” singer’s music videos, flamboyant outfits, and lifestyle choices.

“I found her videos,” Sister Rita Callanan told the Los Angeles Times. “I wasn’t happy with any of it.”

However, the church and Katy’s lawyers contended that the sisters were acting outside of their authority and did not have the legal right to sell the convent, which was vacated in 2011. Standing in court, they put forth the argument that the nuns did not obtain the required blessings of Archbishop Jose Gomez and the Vatican to approve the sale.

Earlier this year, a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of the archdiocese, finding that Ms. Hollister had acted with “malice, oppression and fraud” after intentionally interfering with the planned sale. As a result of this ruling, Hollister was ordered to pay $10 million in punitive damages to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and Katy Perry.

Rita Callanan is part of an order of elderly nuns locked in a battle over the sale of their former convent.
Sister Rita Callanan was escorted by Dana Hollister out of Los Angeles Superior Court in 2015.Featured image credit: Anthony McCartneyAP Images

The singer will receive $3.3 million of the total payout, on top of a previous sum of $1.6 million, which she was originally awarded to cover legal costs.

Katy’s attorney, Eric Rowen of Greenberg Traurig LLP, told Billboard that justice had been “well served” on reflection of the outcome of the case.

“Katy is extremely pleased with the jury’s insight and understanding, and is hopeful that the jury’s decision will pave the way for her to complete the purchase of the Waverly property without further interference.”

This ruling should enable Katy to finalize the purchase and move forward with the sale, though as part of the new agreement,it was decided that a home worth $4.5 million must be found for the nuns before taking official ownership of the property, according to the archdiocese.