HOLLYWOOD—Looks like Katy Perry is in the good graces of the Catholic Church. Miss Perry and the Catholic Church have been awarded almost $10 million in damages after the star’s plans to buy a former LA convent ended up in court. Perry agreed to purchase the hilltop property back in 2015 for $14.5 million. However, two of the nuns who used to live there objected, and instead sold it to restaurateur Dana Hollister without the approval of the archdiocese. So last month, the jury found that Hollister intentionally interfered with Perry’s planned purchase.
The businesswoman made her purchase of the eight acre property with the cooperation of Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, who maintained they had the authority to sell. In contrast to Perry’s multi-million dollar purchase, Hollister paid just $44,000 with an agreement to pay a further $9.9 million after 3 years. The property has a sweeping view of San Gabriel Mountains. According to published reports, the sisters said they were uncomfortable handing over the former convent to Perry who, despite coming from a church background, is known for provocative songs like “I Kissed A Girl” and “California Gurls.”
It seems that they refused to change their minds even after Perry visited to plead her case-showing the nuns “a Jesus tattoo on her wrist” and performing a rendition of the gospel hymn “Oh, Happy Day.” The church and Perry’s lawyers contended that the sisters did not have the right to sell the property, which they vacated in 2011. They did not obtain the required legal blessings of Archbishop Jose Gomez and the Vatican- which must approve the sale of any property for more than $7.5 million-they argued in court.
A Superior Court Judge ruled in the church’s favor earlier this year, and a jury decided in November that Hollister should have been aware her purchase was invalid. The businesswoman acted with malice in persisting with her claim to the property,which she planned to turn into a boutique hotel, the court found. She was ordered to pay the archdiocese $3.47 million and Perry’s company, Bird Nest LLC, $1.57 million in legal fees. On December 4, Hollister was also ordered to pay $10 million in punitive damages. Two-thirds of the sum will go to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and one-third will go to Perry.
Michael Geibelson, Hollister’s lawyer, said his client’s assets were worth about $4 million, meaning she will not be able to pay either fee in full. Perry now hopes to be able to complete her purchase of the convent, which includes an agreement to “provide an alternative property for a house of prayer” worth $4.5 million, according to the archdiocese. Katy Perry must be extremely happy, however, Hollister’s lawyer has indicated she intends to appeal the ruling. Perry, 33, has been riding high, with her Witness tour. She has spared no expense on the staging and technology, Perry’s concert is as terrific as fellow big-spenders Madonna, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Gaga and Stefani.
No Doubt singer, Gwen Stefani has spent the last 12 months surrounded by sleigh bells as she worked on her first festive album, recording classics like “Let it Snow” and “Santa Baby” in the blazing heat of summer. Inspiration comes anywhere, and arrived while Stefani was out for a run at her boyfriend Blake Shelton’s ranch- a 200-acre property full of deer in the plains of Oklahoma. Thus, Christmas Eve was born. The album, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” is a refreshing palate-cleanser after Stefani’s last solo release, 2016’s “This is What The Truth Feels Like.” That record came in the wake of her divorce from Gavin Rossdale and a subsequent, unexpected, romance with Blake Shelton, her co-host on the TV show, “The Voice.” She even appeared with him last week in a duet. “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” is out now.
Rose’s Scoop: Nicknamed the French “Elvis Presley” France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday passed away on December 6 after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 74. The singer sold about 100 million records and starred in a number if films in a career that began in 1960.