Popular Hollywood Sex Therapist Strangled, Thrown From LA Balcony
Friends of Amie Harwick said she was afraid of her alleged killer, Gareth Pursehouse.
On Feb. 15, 2020, celebrity sex therapist Amie Harwick was found unresponsive beneath a balcony in her Los Angeles home, clinging for her life.
According to CNN, the 38-year-old, who was previously engaged to comedian and The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, was transported to a hospital, where she died.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office said an autopsy showed Harwick’s primary cause of death was blunt force injuries to the head and torso after falling — and there were signs of strangulation.
Harwick’s jealous ex-boyfriend is the only suspect and he is awaiting trial for one count of murder and first-degree residential burglary, and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
According to CBS, who aired a special 48 Hours episode about Harwick’s murder, in 2022, Gareth Pursehouse was “obsessed” with Harwick and she got a protective order against him after their relationship ended in 2011.
The two would then come face-to-face, again, in January 2020, at a porn awards party, hosted by Stormy Daniels, The Independent reported, where Pursehouse told Harwick she ruined his life.
Jasmin St. Clare, a friend of Harwick, who also attended the party, told the Daily Mail that Harwick was scared after the encounter.
“I spoke to her a few days after that. She was just like ‘yeah I saw my crazy ex there.’ It was just an over-the-head thing. She doesn't see the bad in people. But was she concerned? Yes,” St. Clare said.
Robert Coshland, another friend of Harwick, told the Daily Mail that Harwick told him Pursehouse behaved very irrationally and told him: ‘If anything ever happens to me, it would be Gareth who did it.’”
A month after the party, Harwick’s roommate called police to their apartment around 1:15 a.m., after he heard screaming. He later testified he found Harwick, alongside police, struggling to breathe on their back patio.
In a March 2022 court appearance, the district attorney’s office argued Pursehouse broke into Harwick’s home and waited there for four hours to catch her by surprise. He then, “with his strength” threw her over the balcony. A claim Pursehouse’s lawyer refuted, saying there was “no evidence Mr. Pursehouse ever made a threat of harm” and “no evidence of a homicidal intent,” according to City News Service.
Pursehouse’s attorney tried to get the case thrown out but the judge refused. He pleaded not guilty, and his defense attorneys argue that none of the evidence collected by the state proves murder.
In a statement to CNN, Drew Carey said he and Harwick shared a love that people are lucky to have once in a lifetime.
“She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist. I am overcome with grief. I would like to thank you in advance for giving myself and everyone who loved Amie privacy while we try to work through this tragic situation,” Carey said.
For more on this case, tune into Death by Fame premiering on ID on January 23.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence or abuse from a romantic partner, you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, call 1.800.799.SAFE, or text START to 88788 for help. Advocates are available 24/7 to help callers talk through their situation and connect them with local resources. There is no charge to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.