LOS ANGELES —The well-known therapist and author fatally attacked at her Hollywood Hills home this weekend had twice sought restraining orders against the former boyfriend arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Amie Harwick applied for orders of protection against Gareth Pursehouse in 2011 and 2012, electronic dockets from Los Angeles Superior Court show.
Police investigating her death early Saturday morning said a restraining order barring him from contact with her had expired. She had seen Pursehouse, 41, two weeks ago and recently expressed fear of him, police said.
Harwick, 38, was a licensed marriage and family therapist who wrote the 2014 book “The New Sex Bible for Women” and was once engaged to comedian and “Price Is Right” host Drew Carey.
Court records show that Harwick obtained a temporary restraining order against Pursehouse in June 2011 but apparently did not show up for a hearing the following month. A judge in Van Nuys dismissed the order because of “lack of prosecution,” the docket states.
Nine months later, Harwick went back to the same courthouse and got another temporary restraining order. In an April 2012 hearing on whether to extend the protective order, she and Pursehouse both gave evidence, and the judge granted her request for protection, according to the docket.
What led her to seek the restraining orders and the terms of those orders were not disclosed in the dockets, and the files were not available Monday because of the Presidents Day holiday.
Police were summoned to Harwick’s residence early Saturday morning following reports of a woman screaming. Officers found her unconscious and mortally wounded under a third-floor balcony with injuries consistent with a fall. Her roommate, who met arriving officers in the street, said Harwick was attacked in the home and he had narrowly escaped by jumping a wall, authorities said.
In a news release, the Los Angeles Police Department said investigators searching for clues in Harwick’s home found “possible evidence of a struggle in the upstairs as well as forced entry to the residence.”
“A canvass of the area located further evidence of an intruder (suspect) entering the property and leaving after the murder,” police said.
Pursehouse was taken into custody by an FBI-LAPD fugitive task force in Playa del Rey on Saturday afternoon. He is being held on $2 million bail, according to jail records.