The suspense in the Katy Perry-nun-convent story continues to mount.
A Los Angeles judge said Thursday he believes a group of nuns improperly sold their hilltop convent, which sits on eight acres in the Los Feliz neighborhood near Hollywood, to entrepreneur Dana Hollister in June but attempted to delay efforts of church officials to sell the property to pop singer Katy Perry, reports The Guardian.
“There is no doubt in my mind sale to defendant Hollister was improper and invalid,” said superior court judge James C. Chalfant.
Chalfant will reportedly tie up the estate in months of litigation, but preliminarily ruled Hollister to pay $25,000 a month to support the nuns.
Additionally, Perry has been denied access to the convent during the dispute.
While the “Roar” singer plans to transform the estate into a private home, Hollister wants to turn it into a boutique hotel and restaurant.
The sisters owned the property for more than 40 years but bypassed approval from the Los Angeles’s archbishop when they finalized the sale to Hollister last year.
Archbishop José Horacio Gómez reportedly wants to sell the estate to Perry but can’t move forward because Hollister has already registered a deed for the property.
Chalfant said it could take months, or even years, to resolve the dispute.
“You’re not selling to Katy Perry anytime soon,” said Chalfant to the archbishop’s legal counsel during the hearing.
Both parties agree the property should be sold but are battling over the proceeds and whether or not Perry or Hollister are suitable buyers.
Perry has agreed to pay $14.5 million for the property, as well as relocate a separate house of prayer that is being used by priests.
Hollister said she will pay $15.5 million for it, with $5.5 million to move the prayer house.
Perry met with the nuns in May, per the archbishops request, to determine if a deal could be made.
Two of the surviving nuns had apparently already looked up some of Perry’s music videos and wish to stop her from buying the convent.
Chalfant ruled church law mandates the sale of the convent, not civil, and ordered Hollister to disarm any guards from the property.
A hearing has been set for September 15 to determine if she will be able to retain possession.
Archdiocese lawyers reportedly said Thursday they want Hollister removed, and Perry agreed to pay rent on it while the case is in litigation.
A representative for the sisters argue against the use of canon law to settle the dispute, saying civil laws should govern the sale.
“This is a problem for the sisters because they don’t trust the archdiocese,” said Chalfant.
Hollister attended the hearing, but Perry sent her lawyer to watch over the proceedings.