Apr 15, 2016

    Katy Perry wins round in bid to buy LA convent


    POP superstar Katy Perry on Wednesday won a round in a prolonged legal saga to move into a scenic former convent in Los Angeles.

    With more than 86 million followers, she is the world's most popular person on Twitter but has struggled to win over a crucial market of two - a pair of elderly nuns who opposed selling the complex to the singer for US$14.5 million (S$19.7 million).

    The nuns, who voiced distaste for the I Kissed A Girl singer, had signed a deal to sell the convent to a restaurant owner, Dana Hollister.

    But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick, in a brief hearing on Wednesday, invalidated the deed.

    Her move came in response to the pleas not just of Perry but also of the archdiocese, which said that the two sisters, Rita Callahan and Catherine Rose Holzman, did not have authority to complete the sale.

    The archdiocese said Perry had offered the US$14.5 million in cash while Ms Hollister had paid only US$100,000 of a promised US$15.5 million - US$10 million for the former convent and US$5.5 million to buy out a property on the complex.

    The convent, known as the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, once had more than 100 nuns.

    The sisters no longer live on the property but Sisters Callahan and Holzman argued that they had sole authority under the institute's by-laws.

    Perry, who grew up as a born-again Christian but is known for her support of gay rights and sultry songs such as Teenage Dream, has visited the nuns and sung for them in a fruitless bid at persuasion.