The court’s decision will become permanent in 10 days.
Katy Perry, 39, and Orlando Bloom, 46, can both rest easy following the first part of Perry’s legal battle for her $15 million Montecito mansion. The “Roar” singer bought the home and intending to turn it into a safe and comfy space for the family.
The Court’s Decision Rules In Favor of Katy Perry
On Wednesday, a judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court made a tentative ruling that Carl Westcott, the entrepreneur who sold Perry the property in July 2020 and later attempted to revoke the deal, alleging mental incapacity, was indeed in a sound state of mind when he consented to the sale.
“Wescott presented no persuasive evidence that he lacked capacity to enter into a real estate contract,” read the court’s decision.
The singer-songwriter’s attorney, Eric Rowen, told PEOPLE:
“Today’s proposed decision is clear — the judge found that Mr. Westcott could not prove anything other than he was of perfectly sound mind when he engaged in complex negotiations over several weeks with multiple parties to transact a lucrative sale of the property that netted him a substantial profit. The evidence shows that Mr. Westcott breached the contract for no other reason than he had changed his mind. We look forward to wrapping this matter up at the scheduled damage trial phase set for February 13 and 14, if not before.”
The 84-year-old veteran filed a lawsuit against Perry’s business manager Bernie Gudvi back in August 2020. Then the trial began in late September. The judge ended up splitting the case, prompting Perry to testify in the upcoming non-jury trial about the countersuit and damages.
Carl Wescott’s Family Speaks Out
Westcott’s son, Chart Westcott, told PEOPLE that “While we do not agree with Judge Lipner’s ruling and wish he had spelled our father’s name correctly in his ruling, we accept it. Katy Perry will now have to testify, in person, on damages and the contradictory claims she has made over lost income for the rental of my father’s home. While this has been a long road, the fight for my father is not over and we will continue to represent him and his legacy of incredible achievements.”
According to documents obtained by PEOPLE, Judge Joseph Lipner bases his ruling on witness testimony: “Wescott’s primary trial evidence on lack of capacity was the analysis and testimony of his retained expert, which the Court did not find credible or persuasive.” This is what he wrote about Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatrist who never met Westcott and was the only witness to confirm that Wescott was incapacitated due to Huntington’s Disease in July 2020.
“On the other hand, significant evidence showed that Wescott had capacity to enter into the contract. This evidence includes the testimony of percipient witnesses who interacted with Westcott during the days he negotiated and signed the contract; Westcott’s written communications during those same days, showing him to be coherent, engaged, lucid, and rational; and the medical reports of Westcott’s doctors, none of whom found he lacked capacity to engage in any action before the sales contract or for over a year afterwards,” the ruling continued.
The judge also noted that despite Dr. Small providing his opinion, he “gave no logical, much less persuasive, reason” to believe Westcott was not in a right state of mind to sign a contract despite “attempting” to answer several times.
Additionally, Judge Lipner said that “Westcott understood he sold the house and needed to find a new place to live,” and had been making other real estate deals around the same time that were never rose to suspicion.
Wescott’s Realtor Confirmed His Competence In Her Testimony
Perry’s intention was to transform the eight-bedroom, 11-bath property into a family residence for herself, Bloom, and their 3-year-old daughter, Daisy Dove. However, their plans encountered a setback mere days after the signing when Westcott informed Gudvi’s broker that he had “decided not to sell.”
During the opening statements, legal representatives for Westcott, who is also the founder of 1-800-Flowers, asserted that he had received a diagnosis of Huntington’s disease, a genetic brain disorder, in 2015. They further explained that Westcott had undergone spinal surgery just five days prior to the sale, which had left him in a state of “postoperative delirium” when presented with Perry’s contract.
They claimed that Westcott had exhibited indications of “delusion” and “intrusive thoughts” during the sale. They further argued that he had been concealing these symptoms because of his status as a prosperous businessman.
During Gudvi’s opening statements, her attorneys asserted that Westcott’s claim of mental incapacity was deemed “fabricated.” They also added that Westcott’s doctor had expressed trust in his ability to give consent for spinal surgery just two days prior to the procedure.
Cristal Clarke, Westcott’s real estate agent, also testified that he displayed a high level of awareness when he initially purchased the house in May 2020. She noted that at the time, no one raised any concerns regarding his mental capacity.
Six weeks later, on the eve of another scheduled surgery, Clarke recounted that Maria Shriver unexpectedly made an offer of $13 million for the home. Westcott responded with a counteroffer of $13.5 million. However, Clarke testified that Westcott promptly withdrew his offer, and they reached an agreement that he could secure a higher price for the property from another buyer.
In July, Perry submitted a $13.5 million offer, and after negotiations, she ultimately accepted Westcott’s counteroffer of $15 million. The agreement was sealed with Perry committing to an all-cash payment without any contingencies.
Clarke stated in her testimony that Westcott gave her the green light to “proceed, please” with the sale. It is alleged that he even advised her to retain Shriver’s $13.5 million offer as a backup plan in case the deal with Perry didn’t go through.
During Gudvi’s opening statements, the business manager’s attorneys mentioned that Westcott toured other properties after signing with Perry. He later emailed Gudvi expressing a desire to cancel the contract. Following a reminder from his agent about the binding contract, Westcott sought real estate lawyers. Shortly after, he indicated his readiness to continue searching for a new home. The message to Gudvi’s broker, where he expressed his reluctance to sell, was sent on July 23, 2020.
He later told Gudvi’s broker on July 23 that he had “decided not to sell” the home.
At the same time, Westcott’s legal team asserted that those in Westcott’s circle, including Clarke, were individuals with financial motivations seeking to earn commissions, fully aware of the substantial profit potential in selling the property for millions.
In a letter of correspondence to Westcott that was later recovered by PEOPLE, Perry and Bloom expressed their excitement about their new home.
“As you know we are expecting a baby next month and know that this will be the best place to bring her home to and raise her in,” the couple wrote. “Though there were other properties that did interest us, yours will provide us with the comfort of security, privacy and safety… This home will be a respite, one where we will be able to grow together as a family.”
Perry was pregnant with Daisy at the time. It must have bee heartbreaking for such a sweet memory to be tainted with a bitter lawsuit. Still, a win for Katy Perry is a win for her loyal fans who have also been keeping tabs on the lawsuit. Hopefully, the second part of the lawsuit is just as easy for Perry and her family.