11 Mar 2018

Nun in Katy Perry lawsuit 'dies in court'

5:43 pm on 11 March 2018

A nun embroiled in a property dispute with singer Katy Perry has collapsed and died during a court hearing, US media report.

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Two nuns have been in a legal battle with Katy Perry and the Los Angeles Archdiocese over a former convent in the city. Photo: AFP

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman was 89.

She was one of two nuns locked in a legal battle with Perry and the Los Angeles Archdiocese over a former convent in the city.

Perry agreed to buy the property for $US14.5 million in 2015, but the deal turned sour when the former residents objected.

Sister Catherine Rose and Sister Rita Callanan said they were uncomfortable handing the convent and its eight surrounding acres over to the star, whose sometimes provocative hits include 'I Kissed A Girl' and 'Ur So Gay'.

Perry reportedly visited the nuns to win them over, and is said to have shown them her tattoo of Jesus and sung a hymn for them. But the pair remained unconvinced.

"I found her videos," Sister Rita Callanan told the Los Angeles Times. "I wasn't happy with any of it."

The nuns instead sold the residence to local restaurant owner Dana Hollister, without the approval of their Archdiocese.

'Please stop'

Perry and the Catholic Church were awarded almost $US10m in damages in 2017, when their lawyers successfully argued that the sisters had no right to sell the property.

The nuns had failed to get the consent of Archbishop Jose Gomez and the Vatican, which must approve the sale of any property worth over $US7.5m, the advocates said.

A jury then concluded that the restaurateur had deliberately interfered with Perry's planned purchase.

The post-judgement proceedings have been put on hold following the nun's death.

In a statement, Archbishop Gomez said: "Sister Catherine Rose served the Church with dedication and love for many years, and today we remember her life with gratitude."

Sister Catherine Rose spoke to Fox11 LA hours before her collapse in what may have been her final interview.

She issued a direct plea to the singer, saying: "To Katy Perry, please stop. It's not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people."