LOS FELIZ—A legal dispute that started in June over a former convent located in Los Feliz involving singer Katy Perry, the Los Angeles archdiocese, a local restaurateur, and the nuns who formerly live in the convent has just heated up. The historical property, home to the Timothy Manning House of Prayer for Priests and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart Retreat House, was originally sold to restaurateur Dana Hollister by the nuns. The archdiocese claims that the nuns didn’t have the right to sell the convent, and now wants to sell the property to Katy Perry instead.
On Friday, July 24, attorneys representing the archdiocese of Los Angeles filed legal papers aiming to block the sale of the convent to Dana Hollister. Hollister, who purchased the property from the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart, plans to turn the convent into a boutique hotel. In the papers, attorneys allege that Hollister took advantage of the elderly nuns’ “fragile financial condition” and that the sale “should be declared void as a product of elder abuse.”
The conflict over the convent began on June 19 when the Archdiocese filed a lawsuit saying that the lease on the house of prayer lasts for 77 more years and cannot be terminated without the archdiocese’s permission. The suit includes a temporary restraining order to allow the archdiocese and their lawyers onto the property. Earlier this month, the nuns filed a counter restraining order to keep the archdiocese off the property.
Katy Perry has offered to pay $14.5 million, with $10 million of the price paid in cash and the remaining $4.5 million for building or buying a priests’ house of prayer off the property. Hollister purchased the property for $10 million, but has only paid $44,000 so far. According to City News Service, she is not obligated to make any more payments on the property until July 2018. Last week J. Michael Hennigan, the archdiocese’s attorney, remarked to the Los Angeles Times, “Forty-four thousand dollars and not a penny for three years, are you kidding?”
Thursday, July 30, the case is set to go to court. The archdiocese will make the argument that the sale of the convent to Hollister is invalid, and will try to pass an injunction to keep her off the property.