SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Jean S. Harris, who was convicted of murdering her lover, “The Scarsdale Diet Doctor,” in 1980, died Dec. 23 at a nursing home in New Haven, Conn.
On March 10, 1980, Harris shot Dr. Herman Tarnower four times in his bedroom in Purchase during an argument over his love affair with a far younger woman. Harris was charged with second-degree murder.
Her trial lasted 14 weeks, one of the longest in state history. She testified that the gun went off accidentally when Tarnower tried to wrestle it away from her. The jury didn’t believe her story, and she served 12 years in prison before her sentence was commuted in 1993 as she underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery.
Tarnower, a cardiologist, was the founder of the Scarsdale Medical Group, and his book "The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet" sold more than 3 million copies.