Ex-boyfriend jailed for life for throwing Hollywood sex therapist off balcony

Gareth Pursehouse, 45, was convicted by a jury in September

Andrea Blanco
Thursday 07 December 2023 17:39 GMT
Friend of Amie Harwick comments on her murder

The ex-boyfriend of slain Hollywood sex therapist Amie Harwick has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder.

Gareth Pursehouse, 45, was convicted in September of Harwick’s slaying at her Los Angeles home on 15 February 2020. Pursehouse, who briefly dated Harwick before the relationship ended in 2012, broke inside her home, choked her and threw her off a third-floor balcony.

The 38-year-old renowned sex therapist, who was once engaged to The Price is Right host Drew Carey, died at the hospital.

Pursehouse was sentenced to spend the rest of his lie behind bars without the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday. Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila told People that Pursehouse was obsessed with Harwick even years after the two broke up.

“The evidence showed he was obsessed with Amie Harwick,” Mr Avila told the outlet. “He felt entitled to her ... eight years by happenstance they bumped into each other. He goes into this angry emotional tailspin and tells her she ruined his life.”

Gareth Pursehouse ( )

Before the attack that cut her life short, Harwick had filed two restraining orders against Pursehouse, fearing he would harm her.

One month before she died, Harwick saw Pursehouse at a porn awards party hosted by Stormy Daniels. By that point, her second restraining order had lapsed. The doctor was attending the party because she had worked for a charity providing mental health guidance to people in the sex industry, while Pursehouse was there as a photographer, DailyMail.com reported.

The pair reportedly argued and Pursehouse allegedly said that she had ruined his life.

On the day of the attack, Harwick came home to find that Pursehouse had broken into her apartment, prosecutors said during trial.

A fight ensued and the defendant then threw Harwick off the balcony.

Harwick’s roommate testified that she heard what “sounded like bodies hitting the ground” as well as the “sound of women choking”.

The LA coroner later determined that Harwick’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to her head and upper body. The coroner also said there was “evidence of manual strangulation”.

Drew Carey introduces Amie Harwick as his fiancee on the set of ‘The Price is Right’ in 2018 (CBS)

Pursehouse’s attorneys tried to argue that he didn’t push Harwick and that she fell off the balcony while attempting to climb it down to escape from their client. The defence did not call any witnesses.

“He set the chain of actions into motion that led to her death, but the evidence will show that he never intended on killing her,” attorney Evan Franzel told the jury, according to FOX News.

Pursehouse’s attorneys showed the trial a picture of Harwick wearing a black lace bodysuit and posing on the balcony’s edge. They then tried to argue that Harwick had “a certain comfort level with the balcony railing.”

“In a panic, she runs through her bedroom to her balcony, climbs up and over the railing, attempts to lower herself and climb down and is unsuccessful and falls,” Mr Franzel said.

The lawyer had previously argued that Pursehouse had ample “opportunity” to use a lethal nicotine syringe found on the scene on Ms Harwick, but that he didn’t do so. The defence suggested that Pursehouse brought the injection to use it on himself.

Harwick authored The New Sex Bible for Women and was engaged to game show host Carey before the couple called the engagement off in 2018.

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