Katy Perry won another big payday in her biblical battle over a Los Angeles convent.
Perry and the Catholic Church were named victors in a court case against real estate developer Hollister on Monday (Dec. 4). The pop star sued the developer and a jury sided with Perry and agreed the company interfered with Perry’s planned $14.5 million purchase of an empty convent in California’s Los Feliz neighborhood.
The court ruled that Hollister acted with malice against Perry and the church and as a result, both parties were awarded $10 million. Two-thirds of the sum will go to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and one-third will go to Perry.
Perry first tried to purchase the property from the Archdiocese in 2015. Before the sale was finalized, two of the nuns who used to live there objected, and instead sold it to restaurateur Dana Hollister without the approval of the archdiocese.
The sisters said they were uncomfortable about handing over the former convent to Perry who, despite coming from a church background, is known for provocative songs like “I Kissed A Girl” and “California Gurls.”
They refused to change their minds even after Perry visited to plea her case – showing the nuns “a Jesus tattoo on her wrist” and performing a rendition of the gospel hymn Oh, Happy Day. “I found her videos,” Sister Rita Callanan told the Los Angeles Times. “I wasn’t happy with any of it.”
However, the sisters did not have the right to sell the property, which they vacated in 2011. They did not obtain the required legal blessings of Archbishop Jose Gomez and the Vatican – which must approve the sale of any property for more than $7.5 million (£5.6 million) – they argued in court.
Perry now hopes to be able to complete her purchase of the convent, which includes an agreement to “provide an alternative property for a house of prayer” worth $4.5 million (£3.4 million), according to the archdiocese.