By LAUREN SILVER
LOS ANGELES (Court TV) —Pop star Katy Perry and actor Orlando Bloom’s attempt to buy a home in California is at the center of a lawsuit heading to trial.
The lawsuit, filed by Carl Westcott, a property owner who had agreed to sell his home to the celebrity couple, claims that the 80-year-old was not of sound mind when he agreed to the sale. Perry, whose legal name is Katheryn Hudson, and Bloom are not named in the suit, which instead was filed against their business manager, Bernie Gudvi.
Westcott purchased the Santa Barbara home on May 29, 2020, for $11,250,000. In filings related to the case, Westcott’s attorneys said that he bought the property to use it as “his primary residence for the rest of his life.”
But plans appeared to change on July 14, 2020, when Gudvi, acting as an agent on behalf of Perry and Bloom, approached Westcott and offered him $13,500,00 to buy the home. When Westcott counteroffered $15,000,000, Gudvi accepted.
Days later, Gudvi appeared to change his mind, and reached out, through his broker, saying that he wanted to terminate the contract on the house.
Dear Mr. Gudvi,
I’ve decided not to sell my home. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. I’m 80 years old and had major surgery that lasted 6 hours — 6 days prior to signing the contract. I was under the influence of heavy pain medication. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Attorneys representing Westcott said they have expert witnesses who will testify that Westcott, who suffers from Huntington’s Disease “lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature and probable consequences of the contract” he signed. In addition to suffering from a degenerative illness, Westcott had a 6-hour lumbar spinal fusion surgery on July 10. The surgery required him to be given anesthesia, and he was given opiates both in the hospital and to take at home for several days afterward.
While Perry is not currently listed as a defendant, Gudvi has filed a motion requesting that Bird Nest LLC, under which she purchased properties, replace him in the lawsuit. Despite acknowledging that Perry was the intended buyer of the property and that Gudvi was working on her behalf, Westcott has opposed changing the defendant in the case.
Both sides have agreed to a bench trial, to be heard in two phases. In the first, the judge will determine whether Westcott had the capacity to sign the contract. The second, if necessary, would determine the amount of damages.
The parties are due in court on Aug. 16 for a status conference.