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Here’s Why These Nuns and Katy Perry Are Fighting Over Multi-Million Dollar Former California Convent

Katy Perry has been involved in quite a few controversies throughout her career as a pop star. But none of them can come close to how bizarre her attempt at buying a California convent turned out to be.

Legal Drama

Callanan (far right) is believed to be the last living nun who lived in the convent involved in the dispute

Perry’s legal battle against the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns began in 2013 when the star paid millions to purchase their convent. However, due to misunderstandings about who really had the right to sell the property, the nuns sold their former home to another buyer. These circumstances led to a series of lawsuits and counter-lawsuits between the two parties with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles supporting Perry’s claim.

And in 2018, things took a darker turn when one of the members of the nun group died in a courthouse during an appearance concerning the property. Sister Catherine Holzman’s death further soured the relations among the parties involved with Sister Rita Callanan even saying that the pop star now has ‘blood on her hands’.

The incident also caused the 81-year-old nun, who’s been central to the case, to get on the bad side of the Archdiocese. As Callanan claims, the Archdiocese took away her bank account which left her to borrow money from friends to sustain herself.

Perry initially bought the Los Angeles convent for $14.5 million, reportedly wanting to move in there with her mother and grandmother. Apparently no longer wanting the disputed property, she has placed it back on the market, this time, with an increased price tag of $25 million.

Back Story

The French-style convent was initially built in 1927 by architect Bernard Maybeck

The sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary initially bought the 30,000 square feet convent in 1972 after pooling their own money to pay for it. The complex used to belong to a businessman Daniel Donohue, who sold the chateau-turned-convent after the death of his wife. According to sources, the sisters paid $600,000 for it and Donahue even helped them pay for the property.

Around 52 sisters lived in the spacious compound in the 1970s. However, the number dwindled down to just five in 2011 and soon after, they were asked to relocate from their home. This is when both the remaining nuns and the Archdiocese each started looking for buyers for the place. The former entertained Perry, herself a daughter of Evangelical Christian preachers, in 2013.

Believing that the property belongs to them, Sisters Callanan and Holzman sold the convent to a restaurateur Dana Hollister.

The Vatican’s Approval

The former convent is located in the hilltops of Los Angeles’ Los Feliz district

In the end, Perry won the case and was awarded rights to the convent in 2017 although approval from the Vatican was still needed. Apparently, church property transactions exceeding $7.5 million needs the final approval of the Holy See if the archdiocese it belongs in has more than 500,000 people.

In the same year, Hollister was also found guilty of consciously interfering with the singer’s purchase of the property. She was then required by the court to pay millions of dollars to both Perry and the Archdiocese in fees.

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