The winner of “Mrs. Sri Lanka” was injured after another beauty queen ripped her crown off her head during the ceremony on Sunday, BBC News reports.
Moments after Pushpika De Silva won the title, the 2019 “Mrs. Sri Lanka” winner, Caroline Jurie, seized her crown during the national broadcast. The former winner claimed De Silva couldn’t be named the winner because she is divorced.
The winner of the pageant is meant to go on to represent Sri Lanka at the Mrs. World competition, which Jurie won in 2020.
Video from the broadcast shows Jurie, who was on stage during the ceremony in her “Mrs. World” sash, addressing the audience shortly after De Silva was crowned the winner. “I have a small request,” she said into a microphone. “As for the Mrs. World, there is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced.”
Jurie said the crown should go to the first runner-up and then walks over to De Silva and takes the crown off of her head. After untangling the crown from De Silva’s hair, Jurie places it on the runner-up, the video shows. De Silva left the stage in tears and the runner-up began crying as well.
Organizers have since confirmed De Silva is not divorced and they have returned the crown, BBC News reports. De Silva also said she is separated, but not divorced. On Monday, De Silva also posted about the incident on Facebook, writing:
“Even though my crown has been snatched in front of everyone insultfully [sic], I will keep my head straight at this moment of writing and say that I am proud and proud as before.
Me, myself, and this is just another incident for me.” De Silva said she suffered pain on her skull when the crown was snatched from her head and has been treated for injuries, according to BBC News. She also clarified that she is not divorced.
“If I wasn’t fit at the beginning of this tournament they could have removed me,” she wrote. “Finally, I say a true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman’s crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman’s crown,” De Silva wrote.
Police have questioned Jurie and Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Mrs. Sri Lanka World, about the incident, BBC News reports. “We are disappointed,” Jayasinghe told BBC News. “It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs World organizations has already begun an investigation on the matter.”