Judge Rules Katy Perry Can Purchase $15 Million Montecito Mansion From Octogenarian Who Had A Serious Case Of Seller's Remorse

By on November 9, 2023 in ArticlesCelebrity Homes

Katy Perry emerged from an LA courthouse today the victor in a bizarre three-year legal battle over a real estate purchase. Her reward? Katy won the right to spend $15 million on a mansion in Montecito, California.

Katy's opponent in this case was an 84-year-old named Carl Westcott. In a statement responding to court's decision, Carl's son Chart Westcott said:

"We hope Ms. Perry enjoys her Pyrrhic victory, as she explains to her fans about taking homes from the elderly."

(Photo by Dave M. Benett/amfAR16/Dave Benett/WireImage)

In case you were wondering, a Pyrrhic victory is when you've incurred such a devastating toll in order to achieve a victory, that you've actually made yourself worse off than before you started. The term originates from King Pyrrhus of Epirus (an area in modern day Greece and Albania). In 280 BC, Pyrrhus fought against the Romans in the Battle of Heraclea and the Battle of Asculum (modern day Southern Italy). Although he won these battles, his army suffered enormous losses. His best soldiers and generals were killed. As a result, he was soon forced to retreat from those very same areas his best soldiers died to win. He was never victorious in Italy again and was killed eight years later after being struck in the head by a roof tile that was thrown from a balcony by the mother of a soldier he was about to execute!

If I'm understanding Chart Westcott's quote correctly, he believes that when Katy's fans learn about her brutal multi-year effort to evict a senior citizen from his beloved home, they'll be so disgusted that her career will be permanently and severely damaged. And for what? To buy yet another mansion? How many mansions does Katy Perry need anyway??!! By our count, she owns at least three other homes in Southern California alone, INCLUDING another mansion in Montecito! How greedy can one person be? How can Katy push an innocent 84-year-old out of his beloved home? A home he lived in for decades. Where he carried his wife over the threshold after their wedding. The home where little baby Chart took his first steps!

Well, before you tear down all your Katy Perry posters, let me clarify a few things.

First and foremost, Carl Westcott owned the home in question for three months. He bought the 2.5 acre estate in May 2020 for…

$11.25 million

Carl Wescott is very wealthy thanks to a long career as an entrepreneur. In numerous outlets he is described as the founder of 1-800-Flowers, though he is not mentioned in the company's official origin story. After way too much research, I was able to determine that Carl did indeed start the business. He sold it in 1982 to two entrepreneurs who drove the business into bankruptcy where it was bought by James McCann in 1986, who is listed as the founder on the company's official origin story. Today 1-800-Flowers is a publicly traded company with a market cap of $500 million. But I digress.

The point here is that in May 2020 Carl Westcott paid $11.25 million for a 2.5 acre estate in Montectio that features a 9,000 square foot mansion with 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, infinity pool and sprawling grounds.

In JULY 2020 – just three months later – Carl legally agreed to sell the home to Katy Perry for…

$15 million

That's a $3.75 million profit for Carl after 90 days. That's $41,000 in profit every day of ownership.

Why did Carl suddenly get a serious case of seller's remorse? Think about what was going on in the world in July 2020. We were just starting to take COVID seriously. We were six months away from COVID's deadliest point. People, especially extremely wealthy people, were fleeing cities for wide-open suburbs. Places like Montecito were seeing unprecedented real estate value increases week by week.

Katy and Carl's disputed home is the perfect example. Before Carl plunked down $11.25 million, the previous owners struggled for years to find a buyer. The previous owners, who bought the home in 2012 for $9.3 million, first tried to sell it in June 2018 for $19.5 million. Over the next two years they chopped the price over and over until finally accepting Carl's $11.25 million.

Carl probably initially thought he was getting the win of the century when Katy and her husband Orlando Bloom came knocking a few weeks later. But in the immediate aftermath of signing the deal, I think he realized the real estate market in areas like Montecito was actually just warming up and more. That turned out to be true. Today the disputed home is likely worth closer to $20 million, based on similar nearby sales.

According to Carl's defense, he did not have seller's remorse at all. Instead, his lawyers claimed claim he was of "unsound mind" at the time he agreed to the deal because he was just getting off pain medication from a back surgery.

In the end, that defense did not hold up to the judge overseeing the case. Upon awarding Katy Perry the victory, the judge released the following statement:

"The contract that Westcott negotiated and signed yielded Westcott a $3.75 million gross profit. Moreover, Westcott entered into other contracts shortly before and shortly after the contract at issue here. Westcott has not attempted to rescind any of these other contracts for lack of capacity."

Today's court decision is not the final chapter in this story. Katy is now seeking $1.4 million in damages to cover the amount of money she could have earned in rental income over the last 3+ years. Her business manager, who was the point person for the deal, is also counter-suing Westcott for $5.9 million.

As for the Westcotts, they are now backing a new proposed law dubbed "The Protecting Elderly Realty for Retirement Years Act," which would require a 72-hour cool-down period for any real estate transaction where one of the parties is over 75 years of age. "The Protecting Elderly Realty for Retirement Years Act." Spell it out. The P… E… R… R… Y.." act.

And let me leave you on final anecdote: This is not even Katy Perry's most bizarre real estate legal battle. In 2017 Katy went to war against a group of nuns over a 30,000 square foot convent set on 8 acres in an LA neighborhood called Los Feliz. Katy originally reached a deal to buy the convent from the Catholic archdiocese in 2014. The nuns then turned around and sold it separately to another party. Katy was victorious in that battle as well but one of the nuns literally dropped dead in the court room during one of the trial days. If any real estate battle was going to be a career destroying Pyrrhic victory for Katy Perry, you'd think it would have been the one where a nun died…

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