Amie Harwick’s ex-boyfriend found guilty of murdering Hollywood sex therapist
The ex-boyfriend of Hollywood sex therapist Amie Harwick, who was once engaged to comedian Drew Carey, was convicted Thursday of murder for tossing her from her third-floor balcony in 2020.
A Los Angeles jury deliberated for nearly eight hours before finding Gareth Pursehouse guilty of murder while “lying in wait” and first-degree burglary.
He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he’s sentenced Dec. 6.
“There was a lot of evidence that really indicates the malicious intent of the defendant in wanting to kill Amie Harwick and punishing her,” prosecutor Catherine Mariano said at a press conference, according to the New York Post. “I do believe this was an absolute desperate act.”
The 38-year-old sex guru began dating Pursehouse, 45, around 2010. After they split two years later, he refused to let go, and she got two restraining orders against him, according to trial testimony.
A chance reunion in January 2020 at an awards event for adult film stars reignited Pursehouse’s obsession. The software developer became emotional and yelled at her in front of several witnesses.
Harwick later blocked his number and told friends she feared for her safety. On Valentine’s Day, he broke into her Hollywood Hills home and waited for hours for her to return.
When she climbed the stairs to her bedroom a little after 1 a.m., she found her ex waiting for her. During an ensuing struggle, he strangled and beat her.
Her piercing screams woke up her roommate on the first floor, and the roommate called police.
Prosecutors say Pursehouse panicked and dumped her injured body over the balcony then fled. The fall shattered her pelvis and left her with brain and liver damage. Later that day, she died at a hospital, and Pursehouse was arrested.
He left behind a syringe in her home filled with a deadly dose of nicotine. Prosecutors argued that he showed up that night with the intention to kill her for cutting him out of her life.
But his attorneys countered that Pursehouse only wanted to talk to her and that he’d prepared the fatal concoction to use on himself.
When she saw him, she was so terrified she scrambled over the balcony and lost her grip, accidentally plunging to her death. Jurors rejected the argument.
After the murder, Carey told “48 Hours” his ex-fiancée was terrified of Pursehouse.
“She was deathly afraid, even afraid of him when we were in [our] relationship,” he said.
Carey and Harwick broke off their engagement in 2018 but remained friends.
“I think about her every single day,” he said. “You want an intimate relationship where you can open up to somebody completely and be yourself. And she was that for me.”
Pursehouse’s attorneys didn’t immediately return a request for comment.