The "Firework" singer is set to testify in a countersuit at some point in the coming months
A judge made a tentative ruling Wednesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court that Carl Westcott — an entrepreneur who sold Perry the home in July 2020, then tried to rescind the deal, citing his mental incapacity — was of sound mind when he agreed to sell the property.
"Wescott presented no persuasive evidence that he lacked capacity to enter into a real estate contract," the court's decision, which will become permanent in 10 days, reads.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Perry's attorney, Eric Rowen, said, “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.”
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Westcott, 84, filed a suit against Perry’s business manager Bernie Gudvi back in August 2020, and the trial began in late September. The judge has since bifurcated the case, and Perry, 38, is expected to testify in the aforementioned countersuit regarding damages at a non-jury trial in the coming months.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Westcott's son, Chart Westcott, said 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 documents obtained by PEOPLE, Judge Joseph Lipner attributes his ruling to 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," he wrote about Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatrist who never met Westcott and was the only witness to conclude the entrepreneur was incapacitated due to Huntington's Disease in July 2020.
Lipner's ruling continued: "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."
Lipner noted that although Dr. Small made his opinion clear, he "gave no logical, much less persuasive, reason" to believe Westcott was mentally unfit to enter into a contract despite "attempting" to answer several times.
Additionally, Lipner stated that "Westcott understood he sold the house and needed to find a new place to live," and was making other real estate deals around the same time that were never questioned or of concern.
The “Firework” singer had hoped to make the eight-bedroom, 11-bath property a family home for her, Bloom and their 3-year-old daughter Daisy Dove, but hit a snag just days after signing when Westcott told Gudvi’s broker he’d “decided not to sell” it.
In opening statements, attorneys for Westcott — the founder of 1-800-Flowers — said he’d been diagnosed with the genetic brain disorder Huntington's disease in 2015, and had undergone spinal surgery five days before the sale, leaving him in a “postoperative delirium” when Perry’s contract was presented to him.
They alleged Westcott had been showing signs of “delusion” and “intrusive thoughts” around the time of the sale, but had been “masking” his symptoms because of his position as a successful businessman.
Later, in Gudvi’s opening statements, attorneys claimed Westcott’s excuse of mental incapacity was “fabricated” and “fake,” and that his doctor said two days before surgery that he trusted Westcott to consent to spinal surgery.
Westcott’s real estate agent Cristal Clarke also testified that he was “very clear and concise” when he first bought the house in May 2020, and that no one expressed any concern about his mental abilities.
Six weeks later, the day before he was set to undergo another surgery, Clarke said Maria Shriver made an “out of the blue” offer on the home for $13 million, which Westcott countered for $13.5 million. Clarke testified that Westcott quickly rescinded his offer, and the pair agreed that he could get more money for the home with another buyer.
In July, Perry came in with a $13.5 million offer, and eventually agreed to Westcott’s counter-offer of $15 million, which she signed to pay in all cash with no contingencies.
Clarke testified that Westcott encouraged her to “please proceed” with the sale, and even allegedly told her to keep Shriver’s $13.5 million offer on the back burner in case things with Perry fell through.
In Gudvi’s opening statements, attorneys for the business manager said Westcott toured several other properties after signing with Perry, and eventually told Gudvi via email that he wanted to rescind the contract. After his agent told him he was bound by contract, Westcott requested real estate lawyers — but said shortly after that he was “ready to resume” his search for a new home. His message to Gudvi’s broker that he didn’t want to sell came on July 23, 2020.
He eventually told Gudvi’s broker on July 23 that he had “decided not to sell” the home.
Meanwhile, Westcott’s lawyers also alleged that the people around him, including Clarke, were “people with pecuniary interests” who wanted to make commission, knowing he could sell the home for a multi-million dollar profit.
In a letter addressed to Westcott written by Perry and Bloom, and since obtained by PEOPLE, the couple, then expecting Daisy, expressed their excitement at “making their life and future memories” at the 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.”
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