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Judge in Katy Perry convent dispute brands nuns' sale 'invalid'

Katy Perry is one step closer to taking ownership of a former convent in Los Angeles after a judge declared a rival deal, which gave the property to a restaurateur, "invalid".

The Roar hitmaker had been in negotiations with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to buy the building formerly occupied by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Feliz, but two ex-residents, Sisters Rita Callahan and Catherine Rose Holzman, objected.


They claimed it was their right to sell the eight-acre estate and they had already struck a deal with businesswoman Dana Hollister, who subsequently moved in.


However, officials for the archdiocese demanded the agreement be nullified last week (ends24Jul15) amid new allegations suggesting Hollister had taken advantage of the ageing sisters, and had only paid a fraction of the property's $10 million price tag.


The case went before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant on Thursday (30Jul15), when he appeared to side with the archdiocese, stating, "There is no doubt in my mind sale to defendant Hollister was improper and invalid."


However, he refrained from ordering Hollister to immediately vacate the building, which she plans to turn into a hotel, and instead ordered her to pay $25,000 a month to support the nuns while the property is tangled up in litigation.


He also banned representatives for the archdiocese from moving forward with the planned sale to Perry, who was represented by her lawyer at the hearing, and set a new court date for 15 September (15).


Perry offered the archdiocese a deal worth $14.5 million , which also includes a contract for the singer to provide an alternative property for the house of prayer, worth $4.5 million .