A series of bizarre legal fights between pop star Katy Perry and several California residents over the last few years has inspired a national legislative push by Perry’s opponents to slow the sales of homes by elderly homeowners.
Perry is currently involved in a dispute with Carl Westcott, the 84-year-old founder of 1-800-Flowers, who is suing to try and stop the sale of his eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom Santa Barbara mansion that Perry and her partner Orlando Bloom purchased for $15 million. Westcott contended that he could not consent to the sale as he was suffering from mental decline and had been taking prescription opiates just days after a major surgery when he sold the home to Perry and her real estate agent.
It isn’t the first time that Perry has faced off against octogenarians intent on keeping her from buying their home: The ‘Swish Swish’ pop star successfully beat a lawsuit by a group of nuns who attempted to sell their Medieval-Spanish-Gothic-Tudor estate to a California restaurateur against the wishes of the Archdiocese. While Perry won the suit, the incident was perhaps more remembered for the collapse and death of one of the nuns in court during the trial.
Now, Carl Westcott’s son Chart and his family are spearheading the launch of the Protecting Elder Realty for Retirement Years Act, or Katy PERRY Act. According to a website shared with Semafor that launched over the weekend, the act “addresses the risks of elder financial abuse, especially as it relates to property and real estate sales and transfers. The Act establishes a 72 hour cool-down period during which either party involved in a contract for conveyance of a personal residence, in which one party is over the age of 75, can rescind the agreement without penalty.”
The group backing the effort boasts that it already has dozens of supporters from both parties in state and local legislatures across the country that will soon be introducing versions of the bill.