Katy Perry’s dispute with nuns over LA hilltop convent far from over

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Judge Rules, For Now, No One Can Lay Claim To Los Feliz Convent.

Katy Perry must wait to buy a $15-million 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.LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge said Thursday he believes a group of elderly nuns improperly sold their hilltop convent to a businesswoman but delayed any efforts by church officials to finalize a competing sale to pop singer Katy Perry.LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge says the real estate deal of a former convent in Los Feliz to a restaurant owner is invalid. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it’s agreed to sell the multimillion-dollar property to Katheryn Hudson, better known as pop superstar Katy Perry, for $10 million in cash and alternative property valued at $4.5 million.

The judge set another hearing for Sept. 15 and ordered the lawyers to provide him with proposals for an intermediate remedy that would be best for the five remaining Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While the judge preliminarily ruled that entrepreneur Dana Hollister’s purchase of the convent is invalid, he ordered her to pay $25,000 a month to support the nuns and denied representatives for Los Angeles’ Catholic archbishop or Perry access to the convent during the dispute. In an interview Monday, Hollister rejected the idea that she had swindled the sisters and insisted that they had the right to choose the buyer for their beloved home. For his part, Gomez cites both canon and California law as being on his side in the bid to annul the nuns’ transaction with local restaurateur Dana Hollister. Hollister said the nuns’ deal with her includes $10 million for the compound and another $5.5 million to buy out the archdiocese’s lease on a retreat house on the property.

The archdiocese and nuns agree the property, which was bestowed to the sisters by a devout Catholic who wanted them to keep him in their prayers, should be sold. The archbishop accuses Hollister of taking advantage of Sisters Rita Callanan, 77, Catherine Rose Holzma, 86, and other nuns who once lived in the villa, by paying only $100,000 upfront and the balance with a $9.9 million promissory note His lawsuit, which claims only he and the Vatican can decide the fate of the property, asks that the sale to Hollister “be declared void as a product of elder abuse.” Hollister called the allegation “ridiculous” and defended the sisters’ mental fitness. “They’re not dumb at all,” she said Wednesday. “No one is saying Warren Buffett is 84 years old and can’t run his own company.” Sister Jean-Marie Dunne doesn’t like Gomez’s attitude either. 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.

The archdiocese said in a statement Monday that the lawsuit was filed “to protect all the sisters” from Hollister’s purchase and ensure that money from an “authorized sale” would be available to finance their long-term care. 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.

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. 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 — continue to oppose the singer purchasing the convent.

The nuns opposed selling the property to Perry, whose fame was ignited by an ode to sexual experimentation, “I Kissed a Girl.” The nuns’ lawyers argued that Perry’s image did not match those of Catholic nuns. This month, attorneys representing the sisters argued that church leaders made a “hostile takeover” in June when they designated new officers to oversee the religious order’s nonprofit institute. Hollister attended the hearing, sitting in the second row next to a pair of the nuns, one of whom listened to Chalfant describe his ruling with her hand over her mouth.

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