LOS ANGELES: Pop superstar Katy Perry on Friday was awarded nearly $1.5 million as she prevailed anew in her drawn-out bid to move into a former convent in Los Angeles.
The singer of “Roar” and “I Kissed a Girl” has more Twitter followers than anyone else in the world at 106 million but had struggled to win the hearts of two elderly nuns who used to live in the convent.
The Roman Catholic archdiocese had agreed to sell the property, which lies vacant, to Perry. But the two nuns were unmoved, even when Perry visited and sang for them, and insisted they had authority to sell the former convent to a restaurant owner, Dana Hollister.
A judge last year invalidated the deed issued to Hollister, who wanted to turn the scenic site in the hilly Los Feliz neighborhood into a boutique hotel.
A Los Angeles jury decided Friday after a day of deliberation that Hollister intentionally interfered with the sale to Perry, including by falsely claiming the title to the property.
It awarded $1.57 million to Perry and $3.47 million to the archdiocese to cover the costs of their lawyers.
The church and Perry could win even more at a second phase of the trial starting on December 1 that will consider punitive damages.
Hollister’s lawyer countered that the businesswoman believed she had a valid contract and that the $5 million in legal costs was exaggerated.
Perry has yet to finalize her move into the convent. She agreed to pay $10 million upfront for her future home plus $4.5 to build a replacement elsewhere for a prayer retreat on the grounds.-AFP