A nun involved in a legal battle with pop singer Katy Perry over a $15 million convent has collapsed and died during a court proceeding on the case.
Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, was in court for a post-judgment hearing on the case on Friday when she suddenly collapsed and died, according to TMZ.
The legal dispute over the convent located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles began when Holzman and another nun, Sister Rita Callanan, opposed the sale of the property to Perry, who wanted to buy it for $14.5 million.
The nuns wanted to sell the 8-acre property to local businesswoman Dana Hollister, who wanted to turn the convent into a boutique hotel. Perry and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles later sued Hollister for interfering with the property deal, and a jury found the businesswoman guilty of malice and fraud in November.
Hollister has since filed for bankruptcy after being ordered to pay $15 million in damages to the LA Archdiocese and Perry's lawyers.
Perry's attorneys have previously stated that the singer plans to live on the property that offers sweeping views of the San Gabriel Mountains and downtown.
The nuns, who have lived in the convent since 1973, have claimed that they have the documents to prove that they are its rightful owner. They have recently released a documentary telling their side of the story and are now appealing to Pope Francis directly to return the property to them.
"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," Callanan said in an interview with Fox 11.
The sisters have maintained that the property dispute should never have gone to local court, and they have claimed that the convent is under the direct control of the Vatican, not the LA Archdiocese.
"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.
In an interview with Fox 11 just hours before her collapse, Holzman made a plea to Perry, saying: "And to Katy Perry, please stop. It's not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people."
In March, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick ruled that the sale of the convent to Hollister was not valid, as the nuns never obtained permission from the Vatican. According to canon law, the sale of any property in Los Angeles for more than $7.5 million would require permission from the Vatican.