Update: Katy Perry scored a major victory Wednesday when a Los Angeles judge announced that she would block the nuns of a Los Feliz convent from selling the property to a competing buyer, the Los Angeles Times reports. Perry’s attorney, Eric Rowen, said the ruling moved her a step closer towards closing the deal on the property. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Perry, the nuns, and a prominent restaurateur have been locked in a struggle over the rights to purchase the land for months. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary say that they had the right to sell the property, as it was part of the assets of the nonprofit they run. The Los Angeles Archdiocese contends that the church has jurisdiction over the property and that the nuns do not. Whether or not this will clear the sale of the property to Perry is unclear.
Original story, published October 22 2015 at 10:30 p.m., follows.
Katy Perry, much like Maria from The Sound of Music, is making news for singing a song and leaving a convent. The singer has been locked in a months-long legal battle with a group of nuns over an eight-acre Los Feliz estate that she's very much interested in purchasing. Let's catch you up: The California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary purchased the property in the 1970s after pooling member funds. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez wants to sell the property to the singer but it’s unclear whether or not he has the authority to do so. Meanwhile, Sister Catherine Rose Holzman told Billboard, “Katy Perry represents everything we don’t believe in. It would be a sin to sell to her.” The nuns want to sell the property to restauranteur Dana Hollister, who plans to make the 30,000 square foot house into a boutique hotel. None of the nuns currently occupy the property — they were kicked out four years ago — but they still believe their order should have a right to sell to whomever they want. The battle keeps escalating, with Perry reportedly attempting to visit the home only to be blocked by security hired by Hollister. The sisters accuse Archbishop Gomez of selling to the singer at a cut price — he wants to sell the property for $7 million, below the $7.5 million threshold that would require Vatican approval — and betraying their religious beliefs. (Oddly enough, the property was once used as a safe haven for priests accused of pedophilia.) Billboard’s report includes this little gem, which is too good not to replicate in full: "On May 26, at the archbishop’s urging, the five nuns met with Perry at nearby convalescent home Nazareth House, where two IHM sisters lived. As Holzman recalls, the pop star arrived late. Holzman mentioned the 'devil' video she’d seen online. Perry said her comment was just for entertainment and showed them her left-wrist tattoo: the word 'Jesus,' inked when she was 18.
"At the request of Dunne, who sang along, Perry belted out the gospel song 'Oh Happy Day,' reading the lyrics off her iPhone. She planned to turn the estate into a private residence for her family and employees, she told the women. She wanted to sip green tea and meditate in the gardens. 'She was nice,' says Holzman. 'She told us why she wanted the property and then sang a song and left.'” So basically Perry treated the nuns like they were the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Maybe she would have had better luck if she had brought the Left Shark along? Realistically, it’s hard to see a way forward for Perry outside of deploying her breast sparklers and sort of hypnotizing the nuns into giving her the property — although that might really convince her she’s from the devil. Ironically, Perry is the daughter of evangelical Christian ministers and started her career as a Christian singer. Maybe Perry’s upcoming appearance at Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign rally will change their minds.