true crime

Dr. Amie Harwick was once Drew Carey's fiancée. 2 weeks ago, she was murdered.

Dr Amie Harwick always wanted to help people. In her job as a therapist in Hollywood, she did just that. But on February 15, she died a violent death, her body found below the balcony of her third-floor apartment. An ex-boyfriend has been charged with her murder.

Harwick’s death made the news worldwide because she was the former fiancée of comedian Drew Carey. But there was so much more to her than that.

WATCH: Women and violence: the hidden numbers. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

She was the author of the book The New Sex Bible For Women, she was known for working with people struggling with self-acceptance, and she was a therapist with Pineapple Support, a mental health service for the adult industry.

Last year, Harwick told Good Morning LaLaLand that when she was growing up, she had been interested in feminism and sexuality, but also serial killers “and all the macabre things”.

“That combination of study of human behaviour from a very young age kind of led more to, ‘How can I use that to help people and do something interesting and feel of purpose in the world?’” she said.

Harwick studied clinical psychology and received a doctorate in human sexuality. She also did some modelling, for music gear company Coffin Case as well as Playboy. She was a personal trainer and released an exercise video.

amie-1
Image: Social.
ADVERTISEMENT

“She loved horror movies, collecting taxidermy, and many objects in formaldehyde jars,” her family wrote in her obituary. “Amie was quirky and fun.”

Working as a marriage and family therapist, Harwick helped a wide range of clients, including former and current sex workers.

“There’s a lot of issues that come from that industry but also a lot of just self-acceptance and work with people that maybe don’t have a problem that they did porn in the past but they want to move forward in their life and how do they do that authentically and with a positive view of themselves,” she told Good Morning LaLaLand.

Kelsey Darragh, a writer for E!’s Dating No Filter, said on Twitter that Harwick was her therapist, and she was “f---ing enraged” to her of her death.

“We spoke in detail about my past history with domestic abuse. She dedicated her life to helping women like me. Feels unreal.

“I’m so mad... So sad... Someone who has been such an integral part of my healing... She cared so much about her patients... She was so badass... She was the modern therapist.”

Harwick was engaged to Drew Carey but they broke it off amicably in 2018.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @fashionfreak38 on

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

Long before Carey came into her life, Harwick had lived with another man, Gareth Pursehouse. That relationship hadn’t ended well. Harwick had requested restraining orders against him. According to the Los Angeles Times, Harwick described alleged abuse and stalking in court documents.

ADVERTISEMENT

She alleged that in one incident, in June 2011, she and Pursehouse had got into a fight while he was driving, and Pursehouse had pushed her out of the car onto the side of the freeway. She alleged that in another incident, he had forced her to the ground.

“He has suffocated me, punched me, slammed my head on the ground, kicked me,” she wrote in court documents detailing the alleged abuse.

“This has resulted in bruises, inability to walk, bleeding, broken blood vessels around face, whiplash, sore neck and back.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Harwick’s most recent restraining order against Pursehouse had expired.

Last month, Harwick ran into Pursehouse at the XBiz adult industry awards ceremony, which she was attending for her work and he was attending as a photographer.

amie-at-xbiz
Amie at the XBiz awards. Image: Social.

Then, in the early hours of February 15, police were called to Harwick’s apartment block, following reports of a woman screaming. They found her on the ground beneath a third-floor balcony, badly injured. She later died in hospital.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Harwick’s autopsy showed evidence of “manual strangulation”, noting that the fatal fall had occurred after an “altercation”. Police said they found evidence of forced entry to the home and a struggle.

Pursehouse has been charged with murder and first-degree residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. Prosecutors say this makes him eligible for the death penalty.

Harwick’s friend Diana Arias has started an online petition, Justice 4 Amie, to have domestic violence laws updated.

“I refuse to let her death be in vain,” Arias wrote. “She was a doctor in the mental health field and advocate in the community. We need to do the same and advocate for Amie.”

Feature image: Instagram/@dramieharwick

00:00 / ???