Katy Perry’s music has won her millions of fans around the world. But the pop megastar’s charms have yet to sway one key group: A handful of Catholic nuns in Los Angeles.
Perry is interested in buying a former Catholic convent in the city’s Los Feliz neighborhood near downtown. The hilltop property, with a swimming pool and a sweeping view of the San Gabriel Mountains, was once home to Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Now it’s mired in a dispute between the five remaining nuns and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez over who has the right to sell the prime real estate — and to whom.
At least two remaining sisters believe the property is theirs, while a statement from the archdiocese says the property was entrusted to the diocese in 2005, according to the Los Angeles Times. Court documents filed by the archdiocese claim the sisters are “not permitted to sell the Property without prior written consent of the Archbishop.”
The nuns entered a formal agreement on May 20 to sell the convent to restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million. Hollister plans to turn the property into a hotel, restaurant and bar.
But the diocese did not approve of the sale and appears interested in selling the property to Perry for a reported $14.5 million.
“Unfortunately, the Archdiocese had to take civil action to protect against the unauthorized action by Ms. Hollister, which was undertaken after the preferred transaction had been accepted in consultation with the Sisters,” said Monica Valencia, director of media relations for the archdiocese, in a statement.
Meanwhile, Hollister has moved into the convent, although she has been ordered by a court to allow the archdiocese to show the property to other interested buyers — i.e., a certain internationally recognized singer.
Perry was not named in the court documents, although the nuns have identified her to reporters as the other interested party. Sister Catherine Rose Holzman told a local CBS station that Perry said she would use the convent as her home.
The “Firework” singer has the funds, too. Forbes just named Perry the highest-paid female celebrity of 2015 and estimated her income at $135 million.
The archdiocese approved Perry’s competing offer on June 5 but was unable to complete the transaction since it was already involved in a sale.
The reasons why the nuns oppose Perry apparently goes beyond her Left Shark controversy. One of the nuns looked up the superstar on the Internet and was dismayed by the results.
“Well, I found Katy Perry and I found her videos and … if it’s all right to say, I wasn’t happy with any of it,” Sister Rita Callanan told the Los Angeles Times.
Callanan did say that a visit by Perry won over some of the nuns. The singer performed a gospel song and dressed conservatively. The attorney representing Gomez’s office told the Los Angeles Times that three of the sisters authorized Gomez to sell the property to Perry. But the attorney representing the two other sisters said the nuns may not have known what they were signing at the time.
Perry has not responded to inquiries for comment.