LOS FELIZ—Pop star Katy Perry is caught in a legal battle with elderly nuns, a restaurateur, and the archdiocese for a historical convent in Los Feliz.
The star reportedly bought the property for $14.5 million and visited it with her architect. The prized hilltop property has a pool and a view of the San Gabriel Mountains. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart claim they had already sold the property to restaurateur Dana Hollister for about $15.5 million two months before Perry’s deal, on May 20, 2015. The sisters’ deal had not been confirmed by the diocese.
The five Catholic sisters in the middle of the dispute believe they own the rights to the property, but decision-making power was given to a predecessor of Archbishop Jose Gómez, according to a statement given to the Los Angeles Times in 2005 made by the Archbishop’s attorney.
Court documents filed by the archdiocese confirm as well that the sisters are “not permitted to sell the Property without prior written consent of the Archbishop.” Perry was not named in any court documents, but the nuns revealed her involvement.
Perry has a religious history herself, growing up with Evangelical minister parents. She reportedly wanted to own the property because she wanted to “sit in the meditation garden, sip green tea, and find herself.” Perry had made an earlier visit to the convent to serenade the nuns, reportedly dressed in a conservative manner. She sang “Oh Happy Day,” showed the nuns her Jesus tattoo, and told them she planned on residing on the property with her mother and grandmother. The nuns have appeared on air saying they do not approve of the pop star’s lifestyle and do not wish for her to reside in their holy place.
Hollister has now moved into the property, but the archdiocese released a statement Monday claiming the sale was unauthorized and has taken legal action to prevent Hollister from taking control. Attorney for Hollister, Randy Snyder, says the dispute is between the diocese and the nuns, and has nothing to with Perry.