Artist News Legal

Nun who battled Katy Perry’s convent purchase dies in court

By | Published on Monday 12 March 2018

Katy Perry

As the legal battle over Katy Perry’s attempt to buy a former convent in Los Angeles continues, one of the nuns leading the case against the musician collapsed and died in court on Friday. The 89 year old Sister Catherine Rose Holzman was at the Los Angeles county court for the latest hearing in the case.

The long-running dispute centres on who has the authority to sell the property. The nuns argue that they acquired the building in the 1970s from its former owner Daniel Donoghue. They agreed to sell it to local restaurateur Dana Hollister, who wants to turn it into a hotel. However, the Archdiocese Of Los Angeles argues that only it has the authority to approve a sale, and it wants it to go to Perry.

The pop star agreed a deal with the Archdiocese back in 2015 to purchase the property for $14.5 million. But, shortly afterwards, Hollister agreed a separate deal for $15.5 million with Holzman and another former resident Sister Rita Callanan.

This led to two years of arguments between the Archdiocese, the nuns, Hollister and Perry as to who had the right to sell the property, and who had actually bought it. A judge ruled in 2016 that the sale to Hollister was invalid, but the case has still rumbled on.

The latest squabble centres on allegations by the Archdiocese and Perry that Hollister knowingly interfered in their property deal by misleading the nuns, thus forcing them to participate in two years of unnecessary and expensive legal back and forth. In December last year, Perry and the Archdiocese were awarded $15 million punitive damages from Hollister. Hollister subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

It is seemingly the bankruptcy proceedings that saw the case back in court last week. Holzman and Callaghan said they were appearing in support for Hollister. Callaghan¬†explained to Fox News¬†ahead of the hearing: “We’re trying to get out to the public to say what is being done to Dana Hollister is absolutely wrong, the judge was wrong, the jury was wrong. They even admitted it afterwards because they didn’t get both sides of the story”.

Addressing Perry directly, Holzman added: “Katy Perry, please stop. It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people”.

The exact cause of Holzman’s death has not been made public as yet. She had been a nun since 1947, signing up as soon as she graduated from high school. The final decision on the sale of the former convent where she previously lived is still due to be made by the Vatican.