Businesswoman Worked to Prevent Katy Perry From Buying Convent

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Katy Perry's 2015 bid to buy a former Los Feliz convent and live there with her mother was thwarted by interference from a wealthy Silver Lake businesswoman who has cost the Archdiocese of Los Angeles $3.47 million in attorneys' fees and costs, a lawyer for the religious entity told a jury today.

In his closing argument to a Los Angeles Superior Court jury hearing the trial of claims by the archdiocese, the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Perry against Dana Hollister, lawyer Kirk Dillman told the panel that Hollister needs to pay a price for recording a grant deed knowing she needed the permission of the archbishop and ultimately the Vatican.

``Ms. Hollister needs to be hit where it hurts, in the pocketbook,'' Dillman said.

Hollister's attorneys deny any wrongdoing on the part of their client, and one of them will give an opening statement on this afternoon, as will a lawyer for Perry and her company, The Bird Nest LLC.

Hollister made her purchase through Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, who maintained they had the authority to sell the Waverly Drive property to the businesswoman. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick later canceled the deal. Both sisters were in court for the final arguments.

Holzman and Callanan are among five members of the institute and are the only members who oppose the sale of their former home to the 33-year-old ``Roar'' singer.

Dillman, who also represents the institute, said Hollister could have ended things by filling out a quit-claim deed. Instead, she and those around her decided to press the issue further, according to Dillman.

``They said, `Bring it on, we're going to fight this out through final judgment,''' Dillman said.

The convent has been vacant since 2011 because it became too costly for the retired sisters to maintain and no longer accommodated their physical needs, and the proceeds from any sale of the property would go to the IHM Institute, according to archdiocese.

After the archdiocese filed the first legal volley against Hollister in June 2015, Perry became part of the litigation when the sisters intervened in the case and named her as a defendant. The singer then filed her own cross- complaint.

The sale to Perry was for $14.5 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and an agreement to provide an alternative property for a house of prayer worth $4.5 million, according to the archdiocese. In contrast, Hollister paid $44,000 and agreed to a contingent promissory note to pay $9.9 million in three years, Dillman said.

Dillman has said Hollister likely never would have gotten the permits for a boutique hotel she proposed for the property and that she could have walked away from the deal if it no longer suited her.

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