Pop sensation Katy Perry is heading to court over a $15 million mansion her business manager Bernie Gudvi agreed to purchase on her behalf in July 2020.
The home’s seller is Carl Westcott, the 83-year-old founder of 1-800-Flowers, who claims he wasn’t of sound mind when he signed over the property; he sued Gudvi to void the agreement, Bloomberg reported. But Perry won’t budge on the deal. The singer’s also seeking $1.4 million to cover lost income she could have made renting the property.
The eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom estate sits on nearly nine green acres in the sunny Santa Ynez foothills in Montecito, California, an area known for wealthy celebrity residents including Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt and Ellen DeGeneres.
Westcott bought the property in May 2020 for $11.25 million and was trying to turn a quick profit by selling it just a few months later, per Bloomberg. But when the deal was complete, Westcott claimed he’d been on painkillers post-major surgery and wasn’t fit to enter the agreement.
According to his son Chart Westcott, who’s assumed power of attorney for his father and taken over the case, the founder’s health is in decline. Westcott entered a full-time medical facility in mid-2021, experiencing mental health issues, early signs of dementia and tremors associated with Huntington’s disease, per medical records submitted to the court.
This isn’t the first legal battle Perry and her team have fought over real estate.
In 2015, nuns who resided at a Medieval-Spanish-Gothic-Tudor estate in Los Angeles, which included 30,000 feet of living space, a pool, a tower and a connected prayer house, tried to block the property’s sale to Perry, NPR reported. Their efforts were unsuccessful, and the woman they’d tried to sell to was ordered to pay millions to Perry and the archdiocese. One of the nuns collapsed and died in court during a post-judgment hearing.
Perry’s team maintains that Westcott had every intention of selling the house. “He was competent when he hired an experienced real estate broker, vetted the brokerage commission rate, arranged showings of the Property, entertained multiple offers, sought alternative houses, and ultimately negotiated a highly lucrative sale,” Gudvi’s lawyers said in a May 2022 court filing.
The trial began on Wednesday in Los Angeles, and Perry could take the stand as early as Friday, per Bloomberg.