Katy Perry’s Influence Will Last Forever — Maybe Not As A Musician, But As Legislation

Katy Perry

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty)

There will probably be a day that Katy Perry’s name is in a legal headline for a good reason. Today is not one of them. The last time that we covered the “I Kissed A Girl” singer, she was busy losing a trademark suit against an Australian clothes  designer by the name of Katie Perry. You may have wondered what she’s been doing in the meantime — music? No, the only people who have been hearing her ROAR are the elderly people she’s reportedly trying to take houses from. From The Real Deal:

Katy Perry…is now also the namesake of proposed legislation to protect senior citizens from predatory real estate transactions, TODAY reported. The Protecting Elderly Realty for Retirement Years Act, or PERRY Act, would require a 72-hour “cool down” period for real estate transactions where one of the participating parties is over the age of 75[.]

Lawyers for Westcott, who suffers from Huntington’s disease, claims he was of “unsound mind” when he agreed to the deal with Perry. Gudvi approached Westcott with an offer just three days after the elderly flower mogul went under a six-hour back surgery. When he tried to back out of the deal after getting off the drugs, Perry and Gudvi refused to let him out of the contract.

His lawyers say the deal is “voidable” because he was high on painkillers when he signed a contract to sell the house he had bought just two months earlier.

The PERRY Act, unlike the singer’s last album WITNESS, looks to be generally favored. Legislation like this shows that we are moving away from the days of caveat venditor, and we’re probably better for it. Why? Because it displays an understanding of consent, situational context, and the capacity to say no that we’d be better off being familiar with.

There was an contract case that stuck with me since I first heard it, Lucy v. Zehmer. Lucy, armed with a bottle of whiskey and some moxie, got Zehmer whatever the 1954 equivalent of the word shitfaced would be and had him sign away his farm. Zehmer thought he was joking and swore up and down that he was too drunk and didn’t intend to form a contract at the time. The Supreme Court of Virginia didn’t care at the time, nor would I think their opinion would have changed if Zehmer were high off painkillers because of back surgery.

Nonetheless, laws change over time — and occasionally for the better. Elder fraud and other forms of exploitation are growing over time — a three-day wait period could make for a world of difference.

Katy Perry’s Legal Battle For An Old Man’s Home Inspires New Legislation [The Real Deal]

Earlier: In A Bold Trademark Case, Katy Perry Gets Hit With Infringement

Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.


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