LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) A nun involved in a lawsuit to keep Katy Perry from buying a Los Angeles convent collapsed during a court appearance and subsequently died March 9.
Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, was of an order of elderly nuns who are fighting to keep Perry from buying the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary property in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Perry has been attempting to buy the property for $14.5 million but was waylaid when the order of nuns attempted to sell it to local entrepreneur Dana Hollister to turn the the convent into a boutique hotel.
“We asked [Hollister] to save us, to buy the property. She had nothing to do with forcing herself on us,” Holzman told Fox 11 News hours before her collapse.
The property is considered unused but the nuns claim they have lived in it since 1973 and have documents that show they are the rightful owners. In 2015 it was a priests’ house of prayer and the archdiocese claimed it had a remaining lease term of 77 years on the building. The property includes a swimming pool and an expansive view overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains. Perry told the nuns that “she wanted to live on the property with her mother and grandmother, sit in the meditation garden, sip green tea and find herself,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Perry reportedly tried to make a good impression on the nuns, singing “Oh Happy Day” for them and showing her a Jesus tattoo on her wrist.
A judge ruled in 2016 the sale was invalid. Last fall, a jury found Hollister guilty of malice and fraud for allegedly interfering with the sale of the property and she was ordered to pay $15 million to the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Perry’s attorneys.
The archdiocese had opposed the sale to Hollister and was completing paperwork to sell the convent to Perry when the nuns attempted to sell it. The Archdiocese filed a lawsuit asking a judge to block the sale, who ruled in 2015 that Perry offered a better deal that would protect the nuns.
“We’re trying to get out to the public to say what is being done to Dana Hollister is absolutely wrong, the judge was wrong, the jury was wrong. They even admitted it afterwards because they didn’t get both sides of the story,” Sister Rita Callanan told the station.
The nuns claimed the case should have been tried in Rome, not Los Angeles.
“We have an agreement with Rome. It’s in writing and it says if there are any disputes, they are to be settled in Rome,” Callanan said.
Holzman added, “And to Katy Perry, please stop. It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people.”
Holzman had served the church “with dedication and love for many years,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in a statement. “I was sad to hear the news of her passing and I have offered a Mass for the repose of her soul,” Gomez said in a statement. “We extend our prayers today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary community and to all her friends and loved ones.”