Katy Perry continues to be in a legal battle against a group of Los Angeles nuns over the ownership of a former convent

By Karen Mizoguchi
March 12, 2018 04:05 PM

Katy Perry has been in a nearly three-year legal battle with a group of Los Angeles nuns for a former Catholic convent.

Though the singer and American Idol judge, 33, is interested in buying the Mediterranean-style property in Hollywood, the remaining sisters of the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary launched a major lawsuit in 2015 against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to stop Perry from acquiring the eight-acre land.

The nuns had already sold the property to restaurateur-hotelier Dana Hollister in 2015, however, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, who authorizes any sale, wanted to sell it to Perry.

Here are five things to know about the case.

Katy Perry

1. Why does Perry want the former convent in the first place?

If Perry ends up with the former convent she offered $14.5 million for, she would like to move in with her mother Mary and grandmother, drink tea and "find herself" in the meditation garden, according to the pop star's statements to Sister Rita Callanan in May 2017 as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

If Perry does get the home, an adjoining house of prayer that is currently used by priests would need to be relocated, the Associated Press reported.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles needs permission from the Vatican to finalize the sale to Perry.

2. Nuns do not approve of Perry's image.

The convent's nuns worry they will forsake their vows if the property comes into Perry's possession.

"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 Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in May, the New York Times reported in July 2015. "In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church."

In fact, Sister Rita had watched Perry's Super Bowl Halftime show in February 2015. From songs such as "I Kissed a Girl" to "Teenage Dream" as well as "California Gurls," Sister Rita was not amused.

"I thought, is that a way to make money?" she told the L.A. Times.

The property has been owned by the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for more than 40 years. However, they have not lived in the convent for several years.

Katy Perry battles nuns in convent real estate deal
Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, left, and Sister Rita Callanan
| Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/Polaris

3. How the nuns tried (and failed) to find another buyer.

In May 2016, an L.A. judge ruled that the sale of the former Catholic convent was void to businesswoman Hollister, who had planned to turn it into a boutique hotel, because the nuns failed to receive that authorization before turning the property over to Hollister as reported by the AP.

Due to the previous sale being ruled invalid, the former convent is back on the market and Perry has had her eyes on it for quite some time.

4. A small win for Perry.

In November 2017, a jury required Hollister to pay $5 million to Perry and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for intentionally interfering with the sale of the former convent, according to the AP.

Hollister had to pay the archdiocese $3.47 million and Perry $1.57 million for interference with contractual relations, exorbitant lawyer fees and other misdeeds.

RELATED: Katy Perry Said She Would Rewrite 'I Kissed a Girl': 'It Has a Couple of Stereotypes'

5. Sister Catherine's death during a hearing.

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman died while attending a court hearing related to the case on Friday. She reportedly collapsed during a court hearing in L.A.

"Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, IHM passed away suddenly today at the age of 89," Archbishop José H. Gomez wrote in a statement on her passing obtained by PEOPLE.

"Sister Catherine Rose served the Church with dedication and love for many years and today we remember her life with gratitude. We extend our prayers today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary community and to all her friends and loved ones," he continued.

Hours before her death, she and Sister Rita spoke out against Perry to Fox 7, marking the first time the nuns had spoken to the press since 2016.

"Katy Perry, please stop," Sister Catherine said. "It's not doing anyone any good [and it's] hurting a lot of people."