Mrs Sri Lanka winner is ‘left with head injuries’ after previous victor removes her crown on stage and claims her rival can’t win the pageant because she is divorced
- Pushpika De Silva, 31, awarded title during the ceremony at a theatre in Colombo
- But fellow competitor Caroline Jurie, 28, who won in 2019, grappled crown
- Event organiser since confirmed Ms De Silva is not divorcee and returned crown
The winner of Mrs Sri Lanka was ‘left with head injuries’ after a rival grabbed at her crown and claimed she should not have won the pageant because she is divorced.
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 fellow competitor Caroline Jurie, 28, who won the crown in 2019, snatched the crown from her head in the bizarre on-stage incident.
The prize has since been returned to Ms De Silva after the event organisers confirmed that she is not a divorcee.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva, 31, was awarded the title during the ceremony at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Colombo, on Sunday before the crown was snatched from her head
In astonishing footage, Ms Jurie can be seen with a microphone in hand as she tells the audience: ‘There is a rule that prevents women who have already been married and are divorced, so I am taking steps to make the crown go to second place.’
She then strides over to Ms De Silva who is already wearing her crown and sash with a bouquet of flowers in hand.
Ms Jurie grabs at the golden crown which appears to get caught in Ms De Silva’s hair.
It is finally pulled free and Ms Jurie places it on to the head of the runner-up which prompts a tearful Ms De Silva to walk off stage.
The organisers have apologised to Ms De Silva, who won Miss Sri Lanka World in 2011, and she has since had her title restored.
Fellow competitor Caroline Jurie, 28, who won the crown in 2019, grappled the crown from her in the bizarre encounter on stage
Ms Jurie then placed the crown on to the head of the runner-up which prompted a tearful Ms De Silva to walk off stage
Ms De Silva, who says she is separated but not divorced, posted on her official Facebook page just a short time later 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!’
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.’