Judge rules against nuns in Katy Perry convent dispute

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Judge gives Katy Perry chance to live at disputed ex-convent in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — The entertainer Katy Perry cannot close her proposed deal to buy an 8-acre convent property in Los Angeles anytime soon, but she may be able to rent it. The convent, which Perry has wanted to buy to be her personal residence for several years, is in the middle of a legal fight between a group of elderly nuns and the archbishop of Los Angeles over who has control of the sale and its proceeds.U.S. pop star Katy Perry must wait to buy a $15-million US former convent from the Los Angeles archbishop as a judge refused — for now — to evict a local developer who bought it last month from disgruntled nuns. Some of the nuns don’t want Perry to buy their former home and in June hastily sold the convent to a businesswoman with ambitions of turning it into a boutique hotel.

At a sometimes boisterous court hearing Thursday, with the nuns and their supporters at times booing the archbishop’s lawyer, a judge said the sale of church property by the sisters was improper and invalid. But Chalfant said Perry would similarly be blocked from buying the convent, valued at roughly US$15 million (S$20.6 million), while he reaches a decision in a legal dispute that, by his estimate, may take two years to resolve. In a lawsuit filed in June, the archdiocese acknowledged the nuns’ institute holds the title to the majestic 8-acre (3-hectare) property built like a Roman villa, but said the archdiocese has power over the ex-convent’s sale.

In declaring his intention to replace a restraining order with the new injunction, Chalfant said he was reluctant to let the property sit idle, and invited Hollister and Perry to make competing proposals to rent the convent in advance of a new hearing, set for Sept 15. “We’ll have a battle of potential lessees,” Chalfant said. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant rejected on Thursday the attempt by the nuns to sell the property to the restaurateur, Dana Hollister, in a proposed $15.5 million deal. Though he invalidated the nuns’ attempted sale to Hollister — which he described as “a bad deal”, and little more than an option from which Hollister could exit after small cash payments — Chalfant agreed to let her keep possession of the convent pending the September hearing. The judge, expressing concern the property is maintained and the nuns’ needs are met, set a Sept. 15 hearing for attorneys to present arguments on who should rent it. The network said it will air a documentary in November about how the “iNNOCENCE and eXPERIENCE” show was put together and how the band overcame obstacles, including singer Bono’s serious bicycle accident, to perform.

Chalfant’s mixed ruling requires Hollister to pay $25,000 a month to the nuns until a September hearing, when he will determine who should pay rent on the property while the court battle is waged. Davis Guggenheim, maker of “An Inconvenient Truth” and also a documentary about U2’s “Achtung Baby” album, will produce and direct the film about the tour. The 88-year-old has said she doesn’t want any part of the public confrontation, according to court documents, but an e-mail she sent him became part of the record. “OLD AGE does not necessarily = SENILITY,” she wrote.

But at one point he chided the archbishop’s lawyers over the church’s treatment of the sisters. “The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have shown great courage in maintaining their independence and have demonstrated they are self-sufficient and capable of conducting their own affairs,” Resser wrote in a statement. The hour-long episodes focus on events ranging from political misbehavior to crime, and will air previous interviews conducted by Walters — including a rare interview with the wife of Mark David Chapman about his killing of John Lennon — along with new material, the channel said. Hollister, who lives in another former convent nearby, said she’s done some work, restoring the pool and removing an altar from the main room, which has a 30-foot ceiling and hand-carved fireplace.

Perry, whose parents are protestant ministers, has agreed to pay $14.5 million for the convent and to relocate an adjoining house of prayer used by priests. Officials at the Ogunquit Playhouse say the 75-year-old, who has battled cancer, was taken to a hospital Wednesday before the evening performance of “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” A statement Thursday said she’s “resting comfortably and will remain in the hospital for observation for the time being.” Harper, maybe best known for the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has been performing in the production as Millicent Winter, with Sally Struthers as Duchess Estonia Dulworth. According to Sisters Rita and Catherine Rose, Gomez told them last year that he wanted to sell to “someone named Katherine Hudson,” who they later learned was Katy Perry. Carey will direct and costar in “Mariah Carey’s Christmas Project.” The scripted film is slated to air in December as part of its annual “Countdown to Christmas” programming. ■ A judge is set to hear arguments Friday over whether to proceed with a trial that could lead to the release of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death-scene photos and records. A man who runs a Seattle public access TV show is suing the city and the Seattle Police Department for release of the material under the state Public Records Act, the Seattle Times reported.

At least two of the five surviving nuns — who had already searched for Perry’s music videos and weren’t pleased with what they saw — weren’t swayed by the meeting. The city is arguing they should stay sealed for the sake of the family’s privacy. ■ Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar winner for “12 Years a Slave” will make her New York stage debut in September. As for his suit, he filed to “help the Sisters regain possession of their property and ensure that any future proceeds of an authorized sale will be dedicated to their care,” the archdiocese said last week.

Nyong’o will next appear in “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens” and will voice a character in JonFavreau’s take on Disney’s “The Jungle Book.” ■ Sylvester Stallone is parting with memorabilia from the “Rocky” and “Rambo” movies. She called the archdiocese short on “humility and honesty” in her e-mail, and the men in charge “rather obsessed with their misconception of their sovereign, ecclesiastical canonical importance.” The 69-year-old entertainer announced Thursday that he’ll put hundreds of props and costumes from his 40-year career up for auction in October, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting military charities.

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