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Crime News Murders

Hollywood Sex Therapist Amie Harwick’s Ex Sentenced to Life Without Parole for Her Brutal Murder

Gareth Pursehouse threw Amie Harwick, the one-time fiancée of The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, off the balcony of her Hollywood Hills home in 2020.

By Dorian Geiger
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The “obsessed” former lover of slain sex therapist Amie Harwick was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole this week for her brutal murder nearly four years ago.

Who killed Amie Harwick?

Gareth Pursehouse was dealt the life sentence in a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday in the murder of Harwick, who was strangled and thrown off the balcony of her Hollywood Hills home in February of 2020, prosecutors said, NBC News reported. He was convicted in September on charges of murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.

RELATED: Defense for Man Charged with Killing Hollywood Sex Therapist Suggests She Fell from Balcony While Fleeing Him

Why did Gareth Pursehouse kill Amie Harwick?

“The evidence showed he was obsessed with Amie Harwick,” Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila, with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, told People following the sentence. “He felt entitled to her.”

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told Oxygen.com in a statement: "We are pleased that the judge sentenced the defendant Gareth Pursehouse to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There is no sentence that could be given to make up for the irreparable loss of Dr. Amy Harwick. I commend the hard work of my office’s Major Crimes Division for their unwavering dedication to bringing justice for Dr. Harwick and her loved ones."

RELATED: Well Known Therapist Amie Harwick's Cause Of Death Confirmed

How did Amie Harwick die?

Officers were dispatched to Harwick’s Hollywood Hills home on February 15, 2020 after reports of a “woman screaming." Harwick was later found unresponsive on the ground roughly 20 feet below her third-story balcony. She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. An autopsy revealed Harwick had been strangled before suffering a fatal fall. She died of “blunt force injuries to her head and torso,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner previously confirmed to Oxygen.com.

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Pursehouse, Harwick’s ex-boyfriend, was subsequently arrested. Police learned Harwick had filed a protective order against Pursehouse that had expired years before Harwick’s death, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The California therapist, who had openly stated she was afraid of Pursehouse, had encountered him only two weeks prior to her murder. The original restraining order had been filed in 2011, according to The Daily Beast.

At trial, prosecutors painted Pursehouse as a jealous ex-boyfriend who couldn’t live with the pain of Harwick’s rejection. 

RELATED: Amie Harwick, Slain Sex Therapist, Fought Attacker Before Being Pushed Off Balcony, Autopsy Reportedly Shows

“He kept finding her, kept seeking her out,” Hernando Chaves, Harwick’s friend, previously told People. “He didn’t respect the end of the relationship.”

Pursehouse’s defense team, meanwhile, argued he didn’t physically push Harwick off the balcony. His lawyers instead suggested Harwick plunged to her death while fleeing Pursehouse, claiming she had attempted climbing over her balcony railing and accidentally fell to her death.

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Harwick is the author of the 2014 book, The New Sex Bible for Women. Her case garnered added national media attention due to her prior engagement to comedian Drew Carey. The pair split in 2018.

“[She] didn't deserve to die like she did," Carey, who hosts The Price Is Right, said on his SiriusXM radio show in 2020

RELATED: Sex Therapist And Ex-Model Dr. Amie Harwick Filed Restraining Order Against Alleged 'Stalker' Killer 

“I just want to say, I’m so broken up,” he said, adding, “Even after we broke up, you know, we still loved each other very much. Even though we broke up the engagement, I was still so in love with her, and she loved me back.”

Harwick grew up in Philadelphia before moving to Hollywood in 2001. Loved ones described the family therapist as a “spark of joy” and an “outspoken advocate for women.”

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