Friend of murdered sex therapist Amie Harwick describes suspect as a 'stalker'

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Suspect in killing of sex therapist Amie Harwick described as 'stalker'
The murder of Amie Harwick, a well-known sex and family therapist, has left friends and neighbors in the Hollywood Hills grieving.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- New details are emerging about the murder of well-known sex and family therapist Amie Harwick, who was killed at her home in the Hollywood Hills.

Police say Gareth Pursehouse, 41, of Playa Del Rey, murdered Harwick, his former girlfriend, early Saturday morning. She had a restraining order against him until two weeks ago, when it expired.

"He was a stalker. When they broke up he didn't take it well at all," said Harwick's friend Rudy Torres. "He'd do stupid stuff and say stupid stuff. You'd tell him, 'Move on dude, leave her alone.' And he wouldn't."

Harwick was found on the ground beneath a third-story balcony with injuries consistent with a fall after Los Angeles police responded to her Hollywood Hills home at approximately 1:16 a.m., according to the LAPD.

Sex therapist Amie Harwick murdered in Hollywood Hills, former boyfriend arrested

A well-known sex and family therapist was killed at her Hollywood Hills home on Saturday, and her former boyfriend has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said.

Pursehouse was arrested at his Playa Del Rey home in the 8100 block of Cabora Drive Saturday afternoon. He is being held on $2 million bail.

Detectives learned the sex therapist recently expressed fear about her former boyfriend.

Harwick was most recently connected to "The Price is Right" host Drew Carey. They were briefly engaged in 2018.

On Monday, Carey posted a video on Twitter of him with Harwick, and a message.

"I hope you're lucky enough to have someone in your life that loves as much as she did," the message said.

"The Price is Right" has canceled its tapings for the week. Carey issued an additional statement:

"Amie and I had 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."

Harwick was known for her career as a sex and family therapist, offering relationship advice online and offline.

Tunisia Offray of Shepherd's Door Domestic Violence Resource Center says the system to protect victims is broken.

"A lot of these guys aren't threatened by the piece of paper," she said. "They will play the system. They will wait until they have their opportunity and then they'll do whatever they feel they need to do to seek revenge."

Offray says they do what they can to help victims of domestic violence - but a complete overhaul of the restraining order system is vital.

"We believe that education is the key No. 1, also educating and rehabilitating the perpetrator," Offray said.

Harwick's friends say they wish they could have done more.

"I just feel like we failed her," Torres said. "The system has failed her."