Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom have cleared a legal hurdle in their ongoing legal battle with a businessman Carl Westcott, who says he was medicated at the time he decided to sell his Montecito, California mansion to the pop star.
Westcott, 84, who finalized the sale of the home to Perry, 38, in July of 2020, has sought the court to overturn the sale, saying he was under the influence of pain medication when he agreed to sell the eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom home.
Westcott subsequently sued Perry’s business manager Bernie Gudvi the month after the sale went through. As the trial commenced this past September, Judge Joseph Lipner split up the parties in the case, as Perry has countersued Westcott over damages as result of the real estate row.
On Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, a judge issued a tentative ruling that Westcott was in his right mind when he proceeded with the real estate sale more than three years ago, People reported after reviewing court docs.
‘Wescott presented no persuasive evidence that he lacked capacity to enter into a real estate contract,’ a court ruling read, according to the publication.
The latest: Katy Perry, 38, and Orlando Bloom, 46, have cleared a legal hurdle in their ongoing legal battle with a businessman Carl Westcott, 84, who says he was medicated at the time he decided to sell his Montecito mansion to the pop star. Pictured in LA in 2021
Westcott, 84, who finalized the sale of the home to Perry, 38, in July of 2020, has sought the court to overturn the sale, saying he was under the influence of pain medication when he agreed to sell the eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom home (pictured)
Perry’s attorney Eric Rowen told the outlet in a statement that ‘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.’
Rowen said that evidence presented to the court showed that Westcott ‘breached the contract for no other reason than he had changed his mind.’
Rowen said he hoped to wrap up the case ‘at the scheduled damage trial phase set for February 13 and 14, if not before.’
Westcott’s son Chart Westcott told the outlet in a statement 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.’
In court docs reviewed by the magazine, the judge noted that Westcott’s ‘primary trial evidence on lack of capacity was the analysis and testimony of his retained expert,’ psychiatrist Dr. Gary Small.
The judge said that the court did not find the testimony of Small – who had never met Westcott and was his only witness on the topic – ‘credible or persuasive.’
The judge said in his ruling that ‘significant evidence showed that [Westcott] had capacity to enter into the contract,’ including ‘the testimony of percipient witnesses who interacted with Westcott during the days he negotiated and signed the contract.’
Bloom and Perry in London were pictured at a Wimbledon event in London in July
Wednesday’s ruling marked a move in the right direction for the pop star in her legal battle, her legal team said
According to the judge, evidence presented that Westcott’s ‘written communications during those same days, [showed] him to be coherent, engaged, lucid, and rational’ while reports from his doctors ‘found he lacked capacity to engage in any action before the sales contract or for over a year afterwards.’
Dr. Small’s testimony presented ‘no logical, much less persuasive, reason’ to the court that Westcott ‘was mentally unfit to enter into a contract,’ the judge said in court docs, according to the outlet.
The judge said that Westcott at the time ‘had understood he sold the house and needed to find a new place to live,’ as he was involved in other real estate transactions during the timeframe that have not fallen under further scrutiny.
In the days after the signing of the agreement, according to court docs, Westcott, who founded the business 1-800-Flowers, told a broker for Perry’s business manager he’d ‘decided not to sell.’
Westcott’s legal team said in its opening statement that in 2015, the businessman had been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a brain disorder.
Five days before selling to Perry, Westcott had undergone a surgery on his spine, and was in a ‘postoperative delirium’ after consuming pain medication when he was given the contract to sign, Westcott’s legal team said.
Westcott’s lawyer said that the businessman had been dealing with ‘delusion’ and ‘intrusive thoughts’ during the timeframe, but was hiding his symptoms to preserve his reputation in commerce.
Attorneys for Gudvi said in their opening statement that Westcott’s claims of being not of sound mind at the time were ‘fabricated’ and ‘fake,’ pointing to statements from his doctor that he trusted Westcott to give his consent prior to undergoing surgery.
The Roar singer has been in an extended legal fight with the businessman, who founded the business 1-800-Flowers
Cristal Clarke, a one-time real estate agent for Westcott, told the court the businessman had been ‘very clear and concise’ when he purchased the home in May of 2020, and there was no concern about his state of mind at the time.
The real estate agent said that six weeks later, Maria Shriver emerged with an ‘out of the blue’ offer for the home of $13 million.
After countering with a higher offer for $13.5 million and then rescinding it, Clarke said she and Westcott came to an accord that he could sell the home for more to someone else.
By July, Perry got involved, making a $13.5 million offer to Westcott, later accepting his counter of $15 million, and agreeing to pay the sum in cash, Clarke told the court.
Clarke told the court that Westcott gave her the OK to ‘please proceed’ selling to Perry, with a backup plan of selling to Shriver for $13.5 million.
Lawyers for Gudvi said that Westcott emailed Perry’s business manager that he wanted to rescind the deal with Perry. Westcott on July 23, 2020 told Gudvi’s broker that he’d ‘decided not to sell’ the home.
Westcott’s lawyers said that the people around Westcott at the time had a vested interest in him selling the home to make commissions.
Perry and Bloom had penned a letter to Westcott saying they were enthused at the prospects of ‘making their life and future memories’ at the home, as at the time they were expecting their daughter Daisy, now three.
‘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,’ Perry and Bloom said in a letter, the outlet reported. ‘This home will be a respite, one where we will be able to grow together as a family.’