Pushpika De Silva, who won the title of Mrs. Sri Lanka over the weekend, was left speechless after her crown was pulled off from her head by an ex-winner.
Caroline Jurie, who was the winner of the same pageant in 2019, claimed that De Silva was a divorcee and was wrongfully crowned. The crown belonged to the first runner-up, Jurie further added.
In the televised video, Jurie is seen saying, "There is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced, so I am taking my first steps in saying that the crown goes to the first runner up."
The video shows Jurie walking up to De Silva and pulling the crown that was secured on her head with pins. She then places the crown on the runner-up, prompting De Silva to leave the stage.
In a Facebook post the next day, De Silva explains that she had to seek medical attention for her head injuries.
The event organisers have apologised to De Silva and confirmed that the 2021 winner is separated, but not divorced.
"We are deeply disturbed and sincerely regret the behavior of our current title holder, Mrs Caroline Jurie, Mrs World 2020, at the crowning. Her actions go against the Mrs Sri Lanka code of conduct and the predetermined regulations she is obliged to follow during her reign..," Mrs World Inc said in a statement.
De Silva's crown was restored in a press conference where she explained that if her marital status were a problem, then she would not have reached this far in the competition.
The beauty pageant, which is a major competition in Sri Lanka, was attended by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's wife Shiranthi.