Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom have secured victory in a contentious legal tussle over a lavish Montecito mansion, once owned by disabled veteran Carl Westcott. The Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Lipner ruled in favor of the celebrity couple, dismissing Westcott’s claim of lacking mental capacity during the property sale. The verdict, expected to be finalized after a 10-day waiting period, marks the latest chapter in a high-profile legal saga.
Purchased by Perry and Bloom for $14.2 million in 2021, the Montecito estate became the center of a breach-of-contract trial. The judgment contends that Westcott, an 83-year-old Army veteran, was of sound mind when he engaged in negotiations leading to the sale. Perry’s attorney, Eric Rowen, emphasized the judge’s conclusion that Westcott’s decision to breach the contract stemmed from a change of mind rather than any lack of mental capacity.
“This proposed decision is crystal clear — the judge has concluded that Mr. Westcott was in full possession of his faculties when he engaged in complex negotiations,” Rowen stated in a response to the ruling.
Westcott’s son, Chart Westcott, expressed disappointment in the verdict, highlighting potential future legal actions. “Katy Perry will now have to testify, in person, to receive her ‘damages.’ We look forward to her testimony, and to her being confronted with possible sanctions for perjury,” he stated, alluding to the upcoming damage trial scheduled for February 13 and 14.
The legal battle unfolded with Westcott’s attorney arguing that his client, suffering from Huntington’s disease and post-operative delirium, lacked mental capacity when agreeing to sell the property. Despite Westcott’s claim of a lack of mental capacity, Judge Lipner’s preliminary ruling questioned the consistency of medical expert testimony presented during the trial.
The dispute gained public attention when Perry faced online criticism for seemingly attempting to evict an elderly, infirm man against his wishes. Perry’s legal team countered, asserting that Westcott actively participated in negotiations, rejected offers, and even extended the counteroffer deadline.
In a letter dated 2020, Perry and Bloom described the Montecito mansion as a family sanctuary, contradicting claims that the property was intended for rental purposes. Despite Perry’s legal triumph, she is expected to testify in the upcoming damage phase of the trial, where the final resolution of this real estate saga will unfold.
This legal battle draws parallels to Perry’s 2015 dispute with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where the singer prevailed in acquiring a Los Feliz property despite objections from the nuns. The current case echoes themes of celebrity real estate clashes, showcasing the complex intersection of legalities and high-profile acquisitions.