Katy Perry could soon be a California convent girl. A Los Angeles judge recently announced she would block an effort by nuns to sell their Los Feliz, California convent to a competing buyer, marking a huge legal win in the pop singer's year-long battle to purchase the property.
We first wrote about Perry's fight against the nuns in mid-2015 when the singer made an offer to buy the convent and its surrounding eight acres for $10 million cash plus an additional $4.5 million to help purchase an alternative property for the nuns, who are members of the order Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Although Perry reportedly wanted to buy the property as a private residence for her mother and grandmother, her outspoken nature and sexual song lyrics didn't score her points with the conservative nuns.
As a result, although the Archdiocese of Los Angeles initially agreed to Perry's offer, several nuns objected, and instead accepted a competing offer to purchase from well-known restaurateur Dana Hollister. Hollister's offer included $100,000 cash that would go directly to the nuns' order, as well as $15.5 million as part of a plan to convert the convent into a 60-room boutique hotel and restaurant. Many of the nuns reportedly preferred Hollister's offer not only because he would give the money directly to the order, but would keep the convent open for public use.
But who had the right to sell the property? The nuns believed they owned – and had the right to sell – the property that they had used for decades. However, the Archdiocese disagreed, noting it in fact owned the property and the nuns were not allowed to make real estate deals. With neither side willing to back down, the two groups went to court, wrangling over deeds, organizational assets, and property laws for almost a year.
The Archdiocese ultimately won out, according to the Los Angeles Times, as a judge noted that it alone had the right to sell the property, and that the nuns' deal with Hollister was invalid. However, the courtroom win against the nuns doesn't mean Perry has automatically won the property. Rather, the ruling acknowledges that the Archdiocese owns the property and that its agreement to sell the convent to Perry is legal. The nuns are reportedly considering appealing the ruling, which would further delay Perry's ability to finalize the deal.