The popular singer Katy Perry and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles were awarded $10million on Monday in a long-running legal dispute over the purchase of an old convent.
The Los Angeles jury found real estate developer Hollister had acted with malice when they tried to interfere with Perry's purchase of the site in 2015, according to Law360. Of the $10million given in punitive damages, two-thirds will go to Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and one-third will go to Perry's law firm Bird Nest LLC.
Last month the archdiocese was awarded $3.5 million (£2.7 million) in lawyers' fees, while Bird Nest LLC was awarded $1.6 million. But because Hollister was found to have acted with malice the court opened a second trial for punitive damages.
The rulings come after Perry, 33, originally sought to buy the Los Feliz property from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for $14.5 million (£11 million) in 2015. The convent closed in 2011 and before the sale was completed the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary tried instead to sell the eight-acre property and its Roman-villa style buildings to Hollister.
Simultaneously the Archdiocese of Los Angeles sued, claiming it owned all the buildings and rights and not the Sisters. That judgement was settled in favour of the archdiocese in June. Although the Sisters owned the convent property on Waverly Drive for more than 40 years, they haven't lived there for several years and only five sisters — all in their 70s or 80s — remain in the order.
'Katy is extremely pleased with the jury's insight and understanding, and is hopeful that the jury's decision will pave the way for her to complete the purchase of the Waverly property without further interference,' Perry's attorney Eric Rowen of Greenberg Traurig LLP told Billboard in a statement. 'For my part, I am very satisfied with the jury's decision and believe that justice has been well served.'
'The jury worked diligently over the past month to understand the facts of the case and weigh the evidence appropriately,' McKool Smith Hennigan attorney Kirk Dillman, lead trial counsel for The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, told Billboard in a statement. 'Our client is very pleased with the verdict.'