A judge has ruled in Katy Perry’s favor following a two-year long legal battle between the singer, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and a group of California nuns over their former convent – which Perry hopes to make her home
The sprawling pink mansion overlooks spectacular views of Los Angeles, a fabulous property with elaborate pools and fountains, ivy-laden edifice and Spanish architecture. It would make a dream home for anyone, so it’s no wonder it caught the eye of ‘Teenage Dream’ singer Katy Perry – who’s been trying to buy the property for two years.
The dream turned into something of a legal nightmare, however, as Perry fought a battle against the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for ownership of their former convent, which they don’t want her to have. The Sisters had even tried to sell the home to prominent California businesswoman Dana Hollister to supersede Perry’s bid – exclusively branding the singer to DailyMail.com as a ‘disgusting’ worshiper of witchcraft.
Staking claim of the convent prompted explosive courtroom exchanges, with the Sisters claiming to the court they had been bullied and manipulated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles into allowing the ‘Firework’ singer to move in.
The nuns thought the home belonged to them. The Archdiocese argued that it was theirs to sell. Hollister believed she owned the house after paying the nuns just $44,000 for the 20,000 square-foot property and moving in – while Perry was willing to pay $10 million to the nuns in cash, plus an additional $4.5 million for the home’s House of Prayers, an Archdiocese spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
Despite the Sisters’ qualms, a judge repeatedly ruled in the ‘Roar’ singer’s favor, but one more snag stands in her way – the Pope himself.
Sister Catherine Rose Holzman (left) and Sister Rita Callanan (right) are two members of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that lived at the Los Feliz mansion for many years and did not want to allow Perry to move in
The home, which spans eight acres and is comprised of 25 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms, a pool, fountain, and House of Prayers – is located on Waverly Drive north of Los Angeles
Following the ruling in Perry’s favor earlier this year, she is still unable to move into the home, because the House of Prayers must be relocated – then the Vatican must approve the purchase
In order for Perry to move into her newly acquired estate, tucked into the hillside neighborhood of Los Feliz, there are quite a few steps that still have to be taken.
First, the House of Prayers that is located on the property, which serves as a retreat for local clergy members and can house up to 24 priests, must be relocated.
Adrian Alarcon, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, told DailyMail.com: ‘The House of Prayer provides a prayerful and peaceful environment in which priests can strengthen and renew their relationship with God.’
Though Katy Perry reportedly offered an additional $4.5 million for the House of Prayers itself – her cooperation isn’t doing her any favors. Mr Alarcon said that there are ‘no active locations’ being sought out to replace the House of Prayers’ current location on Perry’s property.
When a suitable location for a new House of Prayers in Los Angeles is found, the entire purchase can then be passed on to the Vatican for approval – and it’s still at their disposal to render the entire deal void.
Mr Alarcon continued: ‘Under Canon Law, any transaction of significant value must be reviewed and approved by the Vatican. In this case, the review would include the entire transaction but nothing could be submitted to the Vatican until a suitable House of Prayer location is identified.’
He added that they ‘cannot speculate on timing’ regarding when Perry will be able to move in to the multi-million dollar home.
This is no doubt frustrating for the pop star, who has spent the last two years fighting to move in to the picturesque home, and having her reputation called into question by the nuns opposing her morals, specifically Sister Rita Callanan, 78, and Sister Rose Catherine Holzman, 86.
When the Sisters found out that the home was going to be sold to Perry, they quickly made a deal with prominent businesswoman Dana Hollister, pictured right holding Sister Callanan’s hand
Hollister only paid the Sisters $44,000 for the home – with a promissory note of more than $9million additional dollars
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Adrian Alarcon, told DailyMail.com that it was not in the Sisters’ best interest to sell the home to Hollister
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were given the Los Feliz compound in 1970 by the late Daniel Donohue, a wealthy businessman who purchased the home from the owner it was built for in 1927 – Earle Anthony, a pioneer of the broadcasting and automobile industries.
Though the vibrant Italianate and Mediterranean style home holds happy memories for the Sisters, it has seen dark times. Donohue’s son committed suicide on the grounds after escaping a brush with Charles Manson, who broke into the home and tried to kill him in 1969.
When the Sisters took over the home, they hoped to establish an atmosphere of peace. Sister Callanan, one of the nuns most involved in the case against Perry, told DailyMail.com that when the Los Angeles riots erupted in 1992, they opened their doors to victims of all races – under the condition that they could all pray under the same roof.
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were given the Los Feliz compound in 1970 by the late Daniel Donohue, a wealthy businessman who purchased the home from the owner it was built for in 1927 – Earle Anthony, a pioneer of the broadcasting and automobile industries
Though the vibrant Italianate and Mediterranean style home holds happy memories for the Sisters, it has seen dark times. Donohue’s son committed suicide on the grounds after escaping a brush with Charles Manson, who broke into the home and tried to kill him in 1969
The estate also served as a peaceful space for victims of the Los Angeles Riots after Rodney King’s beating by the LAPD in 1992
Sister Callanan said in March that she would be ‘not very happy at all’ if the home fell into Perry’s hands, and that she doesn’t like the singer’s ‘lifestyle’.
During an in-person meeting with the pop star, a number of things she said and did reportedly rubbed the Sisters the wrong way.
The singer apparently tried to convince Sister Callanan and Sister Holzman of her shared commitment to religion, by showing them a tattoo on her wrist that read ‘Jesus’.
‘And I wanted to say, “Yes, and what is the tattoo on your behind?”‘ Sister Callanan said.
A 2014 trip to Salem for the town’s annual Witch Walk also troubled the Sisters.
Katy Perry met with the Sisters to discuss purchasing the home, and tried to convince them of her shared love of religion
Sister Callanan, however, told DailyMail.com in March that she would be ‘not very happy at all’ if the home fell into Perry’s hands, and that she doesn’t like the singer’s ‘lifestyle
When they confronted her about her presence in Salem, of which photo evidence popped up on Facebook, Sister Callanan said the pop star feigned ignorance.
‘She looked over at one of her people and said: ‘Did I go to Salem, was I in Salem?
‘I said: ‘Come on, you didn’t know you were in Salem at a witchcraft thing? You don’t remember it? That would stick way out in my mind. I read it, was that incorrect information?’
‘I’m sorry but I am just not into witchcraft and I am just not into people who are into witchcraft.’
The strife between the Sisters and Katy Perry quickly evolved into something much deeper than surface impressions.
More than two years ago in 2015, Katy Perry reached out to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles about purchasing the Los Feliz home through her representing company, Birds Nest LLC.
At that time, all of the nuns were no longer living in the large pink compound. According to Archdiocese spokesperson Adrian Alarcon, this was because they no longer needed it and could not afford it.
‘The Waverly property had been vacant since 2011 because it became too costly for the retired Sisters to maintain and no longer accommodated their physical needs,’ Mr Alarcon said.
However, when some of the Sisters heard that the pop star could become the new owner of their former home, they immediately took action.
A 2014 trip to Salem by Katy Perry, left, for the town’s annual Witch Walk also troubled the nuns
When the case went to court, the Sisters were no longer living at the Los Feliz convent
According to Mr Alarcon, it was because it had become too costly for them to afford
A court eventually agreed that the Sisters were not allowed under the law to sell the property on their own, and the estate went to Perry
According to court documents, they hastily sold the property instead to businesswoman and restaurateur Dana Hollister. Ms Hollister paid the nuns $44,000 for the 25 bedroom, 29 bathroom property – with a promissory note of more than $9million dollars.
‘Without any guarantee that the Sisters would ever receive any additional payment,’ Mr Alarcon noted.
Ms Hollister even moved into the eight-acre mansion, and became close with the Sisters. Her plan was to convert the former convent into a luxury hotel – something that didn’t sit well with her neighbors on Waverly Place.
However, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles argued that the Sisters needed their permission to sell the home to Ms Hollister. Ultimately, a court agreed.
A series of rulings back and forth in the Los Angeles courts ended in June with Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick, who said that, because the Sisters didn’t gain consent from the Archdiocese, their ‘failures render the Hollister transaction invalid.’
Unfortunately, by that point Hollister had moved into the eight-acre mansion, and became close with the Sisters
When a suitable location for a new House of Prayers in Los Angeles is found, the entire purchase can then be passed on to the Vatican for approval – and it’s still at their disposal to render the entire deal void
The Archdiocese claims that its only purpose in voiding the sale of the home to Ms Hollister was to protect the nuns from a bad deal, rather than hurt them. Mr Alarcon said that of the five nuns who were displaced from the Los Feliz compound, only two were involved in the legal action against Katy Perry.
He continued: ‘The Archdiocese is acting in the best interests of all five Sisters. Three of the IHM Sisters are not in agreement with the Hollister sale or with the actions being taken by the two. The proceeds from any sale of the property would go to the IHM Institute. Regardless of the sale, the Archdiocese has pledged to take care of the Sisters for the rest of their lives and is currently providing funding support for all five Sisters.
Sister Callanan, however, views the situation differently.
‘What we are objecting to is the archbishop simply took our property and then literally tried to sell it to Katy Perry without even speaking to us,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘For us to be thrown under the bus, like you just don’t exist, it’s terrible.’