Sri Lanka Police have arrested the reigning Mrs. World, Caroline Jurie, after she allegedly injured a fellow contestant on stage.
Pushpika De Silva won the “Mrs. Sri Lanka” competition in a televised ceremony on Sunday. While the former winner, Jurie, was meant to crown her, Jurie instead pulled the crown off De Silva’s head, claiming that she was disqualified from the Mrs. Sri Lanka competition because she was divorced.
De Silva later revealed she was separated from her husband, not divorced.
Mrs. Sri Lanka is part of the Mrs. World beauty pageant competition for married women. The winner of each country progresses to a final Mrs. World competition.
“There is a rule that we all have to be married and not divorced, so I am taking my first steps saying that the crown goes to the first runner up,” Jurie told the audience before ripping the crown from De Silva’s head. De Silva cried as the crown was taken from her and then stormed off stage. In a Facebook post, De Silva later revealed she went to the hospital to be treated for head injuries after the incident.
She said in 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.”
De Silva also said she would be taking legal action for the “unreasonable and insulting” way she was treated. Another Sri Lankan model was also arrested in connection with the incident.
“Police arrested Caroline Jurie and model Chula Padmendra over Sunday’s incident on charges of simple hurt and criminal cause,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told BBC. Jurie and the chief organizer of the Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, were questioned by police on Tuesday.
De Silva has been reissued her crown and is set to receive a public apology from the pageant’s organizers.
Jayasinghe told BBC, “We are disappointed. It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on stage and the Mrs. World organization has already begun an investigation on the matter.”
The Mrs. Sri Lanka World beauty pageant is a major contest within the country. The prime minister’s wife was in attended the ceremony as well.