In a high-profile legal dispute that reflects the intense competition and scarcity of properties in exclusive areas like Montecito, California, pop icon Katy Perry has recently clinched a victory in her multi-year battle over a $15 million Montecito estate.
The contention arose between Perry and the 84-year-old entrepreneur Carl Westcott, who reneged on a deal to sell his sprawling estate to Perry, sparking a contentious legal feud, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Perry, globally known for hits like California Gurls, and as a judge on American Idol, found herself in a legal tangle with Westcott, a prominent figure in the car dealership and communications business.
The estate, a lush two-acre property with a 1930s home, lime trees, and rosebushes, is nestled in the heart of Montecito, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.
The legal battle began in July 2020 when Perry’s business manager, Bernie Gudvi, acting on her behalf, signed a contract to purchase Westcott’s Montecito residence.
However, Westcott later backtracked, claiming he was mentally incapacitated due to Huntington’s disease and medication effects following back surgery.
This led to mutual lawsuits, with Westcott’s son Court alleging Perry lacked compassion for his father’s mental disability.
Perry’s legal team refuted these claims, arguing Westcott’s reversal was due to his inability to find a replacement home in Montecito’s tight market.
They demanded property handover and sued for $3.21 million in damages.
“This case boils down to seller’s remorse,” stated Eric Rowen, Perry’s attorney, during the trial.
The case grabbed public attention, with Kameron Westcott, Court’s wife and former star of The Real Housewives of Dallas, sharing updates to her Instagram followers.
Further stirring the controversy, Westcott’s other son, Chart, penned an op-ed proposing the Perry Act, aimed at protecting elderly homeowners in property transactions.
Earlier this month, Judge Joseph Lipner ruled in Perry’s favour, finding significant evidence of Westcott’s capacity to enter the contract.
The decision, still subject to objections, is set to become final soon, with Perry expected to testify in the upcoming damages phase.
The legal battle is not Perry’s first.
She previously engaged in a contentious dispute over a Los Feliz property with a group of nuns, a saga that ended tragically with the death of one nun in court.
Westcott, a self-made entrepreneur with a challenging upbringing, rose to prominence through various business ventures.
His son Court described him as a hardworking, no-nonsense figure, preferring action over litigation.