Katy Perry Sues Developer, but Not Nuns

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Katy Perry filed a cross complaint against a hotel developer – but not the nuns – in her dispute over ownership of a convent she wants to turn into a home.
     Perry’s company The Bird Nest sued developer Dana Hollister, who wanted to turn part of Los Feliz-area property into a boutique hotel. Hollister was the nuns’ preferred buyer for a proposed $15 million sale.
     Perry is not named individually in the cross-complaint filed Thursday in Superior Court.
     The fight is over whether Archbishop Jose Gomez and the archdiocese have authority to sell the 8-acre property to Perry. Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Holzman opposed a sale to the pop princess, partly because they were less than enamored with her public image.
     Perry’s cross complaint calls Hollister an “opportunistic developer” and says she has no beef with the nuns. She says Hollister “falsely convinced” the nuns that they had authority to sell the property, though that power belongs to the archbishop.
     Perry claims Hollister moved in on the property when she got wind that Perry wanted to buy it and “slandered title to the property with the hope of taking the property for herself and thwarting the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.”
     “Hollister cavalierly took advantage of vulnerable, elderly nuns, who she malevolently convinced to oppose the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy; indeed, those nuns – like cross-complainant – are victims of Hollister and, for this reason among others, cross-complainant has not brought suit, and makes no claims, against any of the nuns,” the 20-page cross complaint states.
     Perry says she will “preserve the property as the residential oasis it always has been consistent with the existing residential zoning.”
     Her proposal allows the priests to stay in the House of Prayer for two years until it is moved to a location approved by the archbishop.
     She claims that Hollister intends to “dramatically alter the entire residential neighborhood in which the property rests by converting the property into a boutique hotel complete with restaurant and bar, thereby ignoring the wishes of the Archbishop, violating current zoning, disrupting the quiet enjoyment of the neighbors, and making no provision for the priests who live at the House of Prayer.”
     Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled in July that Los Angeles archdiocese has legal authority to control the property, not Hollister. He followed that with a ruling this month that Hollister could pay monthly rent to the nuns. The judge also has ordered Hollister, who does not live in the property, to vacate it.
     Perry has offered $14.5 million for the convent and wants the court to find that her purchase and sale agreement are binding and enforceable. She also seeks damages for slander of title, interference with contractual relations and prospective contractual relations, and attorneys fees and costs.
     She is represented by Eric Rowen with Greenberg Traurig.
     Hollister could not immediately be reached for comment.

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