A judge ruled Friday that Katy Perry can move forward with her cross-complaint allegations against a businesswoman with whom the singer is vying to buy a former convent in Los Feliz.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick affirmed the tentative ruling she issued Thursday in favor of the “Dark Horse” singer and against restaurant owner Dana Hollister.
Bowick also denied a second motion by Hollister’s lawyer, Randy Snyder, to strike Perry’s claim for punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
“I really feel everything was sufficient,” Bowick said.
The 31-year-old entertainer’s cross-complaint, filed Sept. 24, names as plaintiff Perry’s company, the Bird Nest LLC. The cross-complaint asks that a judge declare Bird Nest the party with the “sole and exclusive right to acquire title to the property” under a deal she previously reached with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Hollister is a defendant in the cross-complaint along with the archdiocese and the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Snyder filed court papers seeking dismissal of four of Perry’s five causes of action, including those alleging intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and intentional interference with contractual relations.
Attorney Eric Rowen, on behalf of Perry and Bird Nest, said he believes the singer will live on the property with her family if the litigation ends in her favor.
“My client is suffering a great deal waiting for this to happen,” Rowen said.
J. Michael Hennigan, an attorney for the archiocese, said Hollister testified in a deposition that wanted to buy the property to try and frustrate Perry’s attempt to do so. Snyder said he does not believe that assertion is true, but that he would have to review Hollister’s testimony to know for sure.
The archdiocese started the litigation by filing suit against Hollister on June 19, stating that Hollister is considering using the property for a boutique hotel with a restaurant and bar. According to that lawsuit, the archdiocese’s lease of the buildings for a priests’ house of prayer has a remaining term of 77 years.
The sale to Hollister is favored by two nuns who are members of the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The sale to Hollister was for $10 million, of which only $100,000 has been paid, according to the archdiocese. The proposed sale to Perry would be worth $14.5 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and an agreement to provide an alternative property for the house of prayer worth $4.5 million, according to the archdiocese.
Perry’s cross-complaint alleges that Hollister is an “opportunistic developer who falsely convinced certain elderly sisters of the Roman Catholic Church that they had the ability and authority to transfer to Hollister the real property that is the subject of this litigation.”
Hollister’s commercial plans for the convent violate current zoning and would disrupt the “quiet enjoyment of the neighbors,” Perry’s court papers state.
—Staff and wire reports