Katy Perry has won a major victory in her battle to take over a Los Feliz convent in Los Angeles.
The singer and Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials have been awarded a share of $10 million (GBP7.4 million) after winning punitive damages in a dispute over the former home of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary.
A jury previously ordered local businesswoman Dana Hollister to pay more than $5 million (GBP3.7 million) in compensatory damages for interfering in the sale of the convent, and on Monday (04Dec17), Christmas came early for the plaintiffs as they were awarded $10 million in punitive damages.
Lawmakers awarded $6.6 million (GBP4.9 million) to the archdiocese and $3.3 million (GBP2.45 million) to Roar singer Perry.
"We're obviously very pleased," Perry's attorney Eric Rowen said outside court.
Last month (Nov17), a jury found Hollister, who challenged Perry over the sale of the convent, guilty of slander of title, interference with contractual relations and interference with prospective economic advantage, and awarded the archdiocese $3.47 million (GBP2.8 million) and Perry almost $1.6 million (GBP1.2 million) in compensatory damages.
The jury members also ruled Hollister acted with malice.
She claimed she agreed the sale of the former convent through the co-operation of Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, who maintained they had the authority to sell the property. Judge Stephanie Bowick later cancelled the deal and ruled Perry was the rightful owner.
In court, Hollister testified she was surprised to learn that an offer from Perry was being considered after she thought she had bought the estate.
Archdiocese lawyer Kirk Dillman insisted Hollister, who was planning to turn the property into a boutique hotel, refused to give up the convent without a fight.
Perry bought the place for $14.5 million (GBP10.7 million). She'll officially move in when an alternative property for the house of prayer is found.