A former convent in the hills above Los Angeles is at the center of a real estate dispute involving pop star Katy Perry, the archbishop of Los Angeles and a group of nuns.
The legal fireworks are about who has the right to sell the nuns' former convent in Los Feliz to the "Roar" singer, whose recent $14.5 million offer for the 8-acre property assessed at $13 million was accepted by the archdiocese.
But the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary said it's not the archdiocese's property to sell. They already reached a deal two weeks ago with Los Angeles restaurant-nightclub owner Dana Hollister for about $15.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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The archdiocese, which said the deed to the property reflects a value of $10 million, is now attempting to block that sale. The Archdiocese has taken civil action against Hollister because the transaction "lacks the required approval from the Archdiocese and the Holy See, and does not provide a solution for the House of Prayer which is on the property," according to a statement from the archdiocese.
"God help us, we are going to fight this," Sister Rita Callanan said in an interview with TODAY.
The archdiocese claims in its statement that the alternative transaction, "supported by the majority of the sisters," includes property for a House of Prayer to be owned by the sisters.
Immaculate Heart sisters told the Times they met with Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez before the sale to Hollister. At the time, the sisters only knew that someone famous wanted to enter a deal with the archdiocese, they told the Times.
Once they found out it was Perry, they did some research into her music, videos and onstage performances.
"I didn't know who she was," Sister Callanan said of Perry. "I was particularly concerned about the video, the 'Dark Horse.'"
More than 50 sisters used to live in the convent, now only a handful remain after the archdiocese moved many to other locations.
Perry's parents still have a ministry in Southern California, and she grew up singing gospel music. In an effort to win their favor, Perry even met personally with the sisters earlier this year and performed a song -- "Oh Happy Day" from the movie "Sister Act 2," starring Whoopi Goldberg.
She made a fairly good impression, the sisters told the Times, but Hollister's offer was accepted by the nuns. She already moved into the villa-style home that offers sweeping views of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley to the east, according to the Times.
The archdiocese has refused to back down and obtained a court order that allowed Perry to visit the property with an architect, according to the Times.
"We've already entered and accepted the offer from Ms. Perry," said Monica Valencia, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. "The Archbishop has made a promise to care for the sisters, and we want to do what's best for them."