Ex-boyfriend re-arrested, charged in death of celebrity sex therapist Amie Harwick

Gareth Pursehouse, 41, is accused of throwing celebrity therapist Amie Harwick to her death from the balcony of her Hollywood Hills home.
Image: Dr. Amie Harwick at The Fonda Theater on Oct. 2, 2016 in Los Angeles.
Amie Harwick at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles on Oct. 2, 2016.Paul Archuleta / Getty Images file

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By Phil Helsel

LOS ANGELES — The ex-boyfriend accused of throwing celebrity therapist Amie Harwick to her death in Los Angeles has been charged with murder and is back behind bars, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was charged Wednesday with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. He was re-arrested on a no-bail warrant, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Pursehouse was arrested Saturday and had been free after posting $2 million bail until Wednesday. He is accused of having thrown Harwick, 38, over a balcony at her home in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood earlier in the day.

Police were called to the home shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday after someone reported hearing a woman scream. Officers found Harwick beneath a third-story balcony with injuries consistent with a fall, Los Angeles police have said.

She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

The charges make Pursehouse eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted, but a decision whether to seek it will be made later, the district attorney's office said.

Pursehouse is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to the district attorney's office.

Investigators found signs of a struggle upstairs in Harwick's home. Detectives learned that she had recently expressed fear about Pursehouse and had previously filed a restraining order against him, police said in a statement this week. The restraining order had expired, and Harwick "had seen this former boyfriend two weeks ago," police said.

It did not appear that court records for the case were online Wednesday night, and it was not immediately clear whether Pursehouse has an attorney.

Harwick was a therapist who counseled married couples and wrote about sex and relationships. She also wrote the 2014 self-help book "The New Sex Bible for Women."

She was engaged to comedian Drew Carey, host of "The Price is Right," in 2018, but they called off the relationship.

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Carey said in a statement this week that he was overcome with grief.

"Amie and I had a love that people are lucky to have once in a lifetime," Carey said. "She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist."