The winner of Mrs Sri Lanka 2020, Pushpika De Silva, had her crown forcibly removed by a former winner on national TV, resulting in head injuries.
Beauty queen De Silva was crowned Mrs Sri Lanka 2020 by judges at the final ceremony in a theatre in Colombo on Sunday Apr. 4, but shortly after, the reigning Mrs World, Caroline Jurie, seized De Silva’s crown and handed it over to the runner-up, claiming De Silva should not be given the title because she was divorced.
“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,” Jurie said to the audience, before marching over to De Silva, pulling off her crown and placing it on the runner-up.
The video of the incident then showed De Silva walking off stage in tears.
De Silva said on Facebook that she had to go to the hospital to be treated for head injuries after the incident and that she had “passed the necessary legal action” for the “injustice and insult.”
Since then, pageant organizers have confirmed that De Silva is not a divorcee and returned the prize to her. They have also apologized to De Silva, who says she is separated, 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,” Mrs World Inc said in a statement in response to the incident. “Her actions goes against the Mrs Sri Lanka code of conduct and the predetermined regulations she is obligated to follow during her reign.”
It added that it will be reviewing and taking steps to address the incident and asking Jurie to issue a personal statement apologizing for her conduct.
“There are a lot of single mums like me today who are suffering in Sri Lanka,” De Silva said in a press conference, according to the BBC. “This crown is dedicated to those women, those single mums who are suffering to raise their kids alone.”