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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Nun dies during court hearing over her convent’s disputed sale to Katy Perry

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, died on Friday
March 10, 2018 01:50PM

From left: Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, Katy Perry. (Credit: Sisters of The Immaculate Heart’s documentary, Our Story; Eva Rinaldi)

A nun involved in a legal dispute with Katy Perry over the sale of her convent to the pop star collapsed and died in court Friday.

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman was among a group of nuns that were battling Perry in court over her purchase of  a former convent in Los Feliz.

Ahead of the hearing, Holzman spoke to a Fox 11 reporter saying, “To Katy Perry, please stop. It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people.” Holzman collapsed and died later in the courtroom, according to BuzzFeed.

The dispute began three years ago after the Archdiocese of L.A. sold the 8-acre former convent at 3431 Waverly Drive, where Holzman and other nuns lived until 2011, to Katy Perry for $14.5 million. Holzman and another nun, Sister Rita Callanan, disputed the sale, arguing they were already in talks to sell the property to restaurateur Dana Hollister for $44,000.

At issue in the ensuing legal battle was who had the right to sell the property — the Archdiocese or the nuns. According to the nuns, they bought the convent in 1971 and lived there until the Archdiocese evicted them about seven years ago.

“The Archdiocese removed us to ‘monetize’ our property,” according to the sisters’ website, which positions the dispute as a battle against both the patriarchy of the church and Perry, who, according to the website, “has no concern for the terrible path of destruction she is creating.”

Ultimately, the court sided with Perry allowing her to acquire the property in October 2016 — pending approval from the Vatican — however the legal battle didn’t end there.

The pop star spent $2.6 million in legal fees fighting the nuns and Hollister, so Perry sued Hollister for “complete reimbursement,” through a LLC she controls. The Archdiocese also brought a suit against Hollister.

In December of last year, the court ordered Hollister to pay a total of $15 million damages to Perry and the Archdiocese. Hollister declared bankruptcy this week.

For Perry, the contentious convent deal has not deterred her from attempting to buy from religious organizations again; last fall, she tried to buy Eagle Rock’s Bekins Estate, a home for Catholic priests, before the deal fell through. [BuzzFeed and Fox 11]Erin Hudson