Hollywood Local News

Friends say slain therapist feared former boyfriend

LOS ANGELES — Slain marriage and sex therapist Amie Harwick feared her former boyfriend, who is now charged with her killing, “might do something violent,” according to an interview broadcast this weekend.

Harwick was afraid Gareth Pursehouse would become violent because “he had acted so crazy,” Robert Coshland said in an interview broadcast Feb. 22 on the CBS News magazine “48 Hours.”

Coshland, described as Harwick’s best friend, said she had told him, “If anything ever happens to me, it’s him,” referring to Pursehouse.

Coshland said when he first learned Harwick had been killed, he immediately told police he knew who was responsible.

“And they were like, you know, ‘Do you know who might have done this?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, Gareth,’” Coshland said.

Harwick had a chance encounter with Pursehouse last month at a professional event, putting her back on his radar.

“He came like over to her all like yelling at her, he was yelling in her face saying, ‘You ruined my life,’” Coshland said.

Pursehouse “created a giant scene, sobbing, wailing,” Coshland said.

Another friend, Hernando Chaves, was at the event. He said Pursehouse “looked upset, in duress” and Harwick “was trying to soothe and calm” him and Pursehouse “was agitated.”

Harwick was scared of the “what-ifs” following that encounter, Chaves said.

Police said Harwick had recently talked about her fear of Pursehouse, 41.

Harwick had filed for temporary restraining orders against Pursehouse during the course of their relationship in 2011 and 2012, according to “48 Hours.” The final restraining order expired in 2015.

In court papers seeking the restraining order, Harwick accused Pursehouse of repeated acts of abuse, including slamming her head on the ground and kicking her.

Harwick claimed he had previously broken into her apartment building, smashing picture frames and threatening her via text message that the situation “will get worse.”

The 38-year-old Harwick, who was once engaged to comedian and “The Price is Right” host Drew Carey, was killed Feb. 15 at her home in the 2000 block of Mound Street in the Hollywood Hills.

Police said they went to the home around 1:15 a.m. in response to a call about a woman screaming. When officers arrived, they were met outside the home by Harwick’s roommate, who told officers Harwick was being assaulted inside the home, police said.

Officers subsequently found Harwick lying on the ground beneath a third-floor balcony. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Pursehouse allegedly threw Harwick from her third-floor balcony. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined that her death was caused by blunt force injuries to her head and upper body, but also found bodily “evidence” she had been choked.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Miguel Espinoza ordered Pursehouse to remain jailed without bail Feb. 20 and to return to the downtown courthouse March 4 for arraignment on one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary.

The murder charge includes a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait, making him eligible for a possible death sentence.

Independent Wire Services