On Feb. 15, Hollywood relationship therapist Amie Harwick tragically died after her ex-boyfriend strangled and threw her from her balcony, and now a friend of the two reportedly says that she feared the man accused of taking her life. While speaking to PEOPLE, photographer Rudy Torres recounted how Gareth Pursehouse was obsessed with Harwick after they split up, and claimed that he even broke into her house once.
"She was scared," Torres said, adding how "[Pursehouse] definitely wanted Amie. He was like, ‘She’s the one. These [other] girls don’t mean anything."
Hoping to dissuade Pursehouse from continuing his behavior, Torres says he confronted his friend: "I was like, 'Dude, you really need to stop. You need to leave her alone.' He flipped out on me. He’s like, 'You got to pick a side. I’m your friend. You’re going to take her side?' I was like, 'Well, yeah.'"
This is not the first time a friend of Harwick's has commented on her frightening past with Pursehouse. Previously, Jasmin St. Claire — a former adult-film star who was close friends with Harwick — spoke with Page Six about the beloved therapist's past, sharing that "Gareth knew Amie was going to be at XBiz," a conference she recently appeared at.
"He stalked her there and went bats— crazy," she said. "He was at the awards working as a photographer, but his behavior was abusive and threatening. He was yelling and screaming."
She added: "Amie told me after the incident that she was scared he would show up at her home. She went to the police, but they did not take it seriously. He was really obsessive over her; controlling."
Harwick was previously engaged to The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, but the pair split up before marrying.
In a statement provided to Yahoo Entertainment, Carey commented on Harwick's death by saying, "Amie and I had a love that people are lucky to have once in a lifetime. She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist."0comments
He added: "I am overcome with grief. I would like to thank you in advance for giving myself and everyone who loved Amie privacy while we try to work through this tragic situation."
Pursehouse is now behind bars, being held without bail. He has been charged with murder, as well as residential burglary with the special circumstance allegation of "lying in wait." He has not yet entered a plea.