Mrs. World, Caroline Jurie has been released on bail by the police after she was arrested on charges of assault for removing the crown from the new Mrs. Sri Lanka’s head over claim she is divorced and should not have won the pageant.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva, 31, was awarded the 2020/2021 title during the ceremony at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Colombo, which was also broadcast on national TV on Sunday. But Caroline Jurie, 28, who won the crown in 2019 and is the current Mrs. World, snatched the crown from her head and crowned the first runner-up instead.
“There is a rule that you all have to be married and not divorced,” Jurie told the audience.
“The crown goes to the first runner-up.”
As the crown was forcibly removed from a tearful De Silva, she walked off stage in shame.
De Silva was reportedly left with head injuries and needed hospital treatment after the incident.
The prize has since been returned to Ms. De Silva after the event organisers confirmed that she is not a divorcee.
Police confirmed on Wednesday that Jurie and another model involved in the on-stage fracas were arrested, and Jurie was pictured leaving a police station in Colombo on Thursday after being bailed.
De Silva was also seen leaving the same Cinnamon Gardens Police station after giving a statement to the police.
The organisers have apologised to Ms De Silva, who won Miss Sri Lanka World in 2011, and she has since had her title restored.
Ms. De Silva, who says she is separated but not divorced, posted on her official Facebook page just a short time after the incident to challenge Ms Jurie’s actions.
‘Living separately and being divorced are two completely separate things,’ she wrote.
She also claimed that she went to hospital to be treated for head injuries after the incident and said that she would take legal action for the ‘unreasonable and insulting’ way she was treated.
Ms De Silva continued: ‘I’m still an un-divorced woman. A true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman’s crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman’s crown!’
She later told a press conference: ‘There are a lot of single mums like me today who are suffering in Sri Lanka.
‘This crown is dedicated to those women, those single mums who are suffering to raise their kids alone.’
Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Mrs. Sri Lanka World, told the BBC: ‘We are disappointed.
‘It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs World organisation has already begun an investigation on the matter.’