A MAN facing a life sentence looked virtually unrecognizable as he sat in the courtroom for the murder trial of Drew Carey’s ex-fiancée Amie Harwick.
Gareth Pursehouse, 45, wore thick-rimmed glasses and had his hair slicked back as he sat next to his lawyer in court, looking noticeably heavier than in previous photos.
He is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Harwick, a popular marriage and sex therapist, at her home in the Hollywood Hills after she spent the night with her friends at a Valentine’s Day burlesque show in 2020.
Harwick’s roommate, Michael Herman, woke up around 1 a.m. on Feb. 15 after hearing the sounds of fighting in her bedroom, but couldn’t find her phone.
Herman told police he climbed down a yard wall to run to a nearby house to get help.
The 911 call on the evening of Harwick’s death was played in the courtroom.
“Someone just attacked my roommate!” During the call, a distraught Herman could be heard revealing that he didn’t know who the attacker was.
“I heard screaming and I heard them-” he started to say, but was interrupted by the 911 dispatcher. “I know she was attacked, I heard her being thrown to the ground.”
As the call played, Pursehouse stared at the table – it is unclear whether he was watching the transcript of the call.
Harwick’s body was found 20 feet below her bedroom balcony and she later died after being taken to the hospital.
Although her autopsy showed signs of manual strangulation, the county medical examiner concluded that Harwick died of blunt force trauma to the head and torso.
Friends of Harwick suspected that Pursehouse was behind her death as the two were already together before Harwick ended the relationship in 2012.
She accused Pursehouse of physical abuse and took out two restraining orders against him, according to court documents.
Harwick’s friends said she avoided Pursehouse for eight years but met him at an adult film industry gala just two weeks before her death.
Pursehouse worked as a photographer before his arrest.
Witnesses said Pursehouse accused Harwick of ruining his life at the gala.
“Ten years ago last night I met my scariest ex,” Harwick wrote in a text message to a friend that evening that was presented to the court.
“He would yell at me in public and then act really crazy and tell me how obsessed he was with me. I tried to de-escalate it.”
“The things he said were very scary. I took safety measures today, but realistically I was afraid for my safety.”
Pursehouse was arrested for Harwick’s murder on the day of her death and was initially released on $2 million bail.
However, just days later, he was taken into custody again on a no-bail warrant and remained in the Los Angeles County Jail.
The murder trial began on August 29, but was postponed to August 31 due to the lawyer’s illness and resumed on September 12.
“Overcome with grief”
Comedian Drew Carey dated Harwick after the two first met at a party in the summer of 2017.
The couple got engaged within a year but separated amicably in 2018.
After her death, Carey released a statement saying he was “overwhelmed with grief.”
“Amie and I had a love that people are lucky to only have once in a lifetime. She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and uncompromising advocate for women, and a passionate work as a therapist.”
“I am overwhelmed with grief. “I want to thank you in advance for giving me and everyone who loved Amie privacy as we try to process this tragic situation.”
During an appearance in April 2020 The conversationCarey said he forgave Pursehouse.
“I really try to practice and I keep failing. “I really try to practice instant forgiveness and unconditional love,” Carey said at the time.
Explaining his reasons, the star added: “The closer you get to it, the better you are.”
Harwick was a writer and marriage and family therapist who studied psychology at California Polytechnic University.
In 2016, she appeared on the reality TV show Braxton Family Values with singer Toni Braxton.
As an author, she was known for publishing the 2014 book “The New Sex Bible for Women.” described on Amazon as an “all-inclusive and comprehensive guide for women, covering everything from masturbation, oral sex, self-esteem and self-care, sex positions, safety and worries, and sex aids.”