LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Katy Perry has amassed millions of fans around the world, but her failure to win over two elderly nuns is creating an unholy battle.
The pop singer wants to turn a former convent into her home. The sprawling hillside Italianate complex valued at US$15 million (S$20 million) is situated near the hip Los Angeles neighbourhood of Silver Lake.
But two nuns are having none of it. In the latest legal salvo, the sisters challenged the authority of the archdiocese to sell the property.
The motion dated Monday accused the archdiocese of unilaterally changing the bylaws of the convent, known as the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The suit said two of the five remaining sisters, who range in age from 77 to 88, were chosen to have "sole authority to amend the institute's bylaws, elect officers and sell the assets of the institute". Perry has visited the nuns, reportedly singing for them and telling them she hopes to live on the property with her mother and grandmother.
But the two nuns remain opposed to the sale to Perry, who grew up in a born-again Protestant Christian household but has become both a sex symbol and vocal advocate for gay rights.
Perry's hits include sultry numbers such as I Kissed A Girl and Teenage Dream. Sister Rita Callanan, 77, recently told the Los Angeles Times that she found Perry's videos online and "if it's all right to say, I wasn't happy with any of it". She and Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 86, instead signed to sell the property to restaurateur Dana Hollister.
The archdiocese countered that Hollister offered only US$44,000 up front with no promise to make payments to the aging sisters for another three years.
The archdiocese said the three other remaining sisters supported the sale to Perry. The five sisters no longer live in the former convent, which was once home to more than 100 nuns.
"The archdiocese is committed to the care and well-being of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters now and in the future," it said in a statement.
"That is our obligation as directed by the Holy See, which will have the final approval over any sale of the property."