The winner of the "Mrs. Sri Lanka" beauty contest reportedly suffered head injuries after a previous winner snatched away her crown. Organisers said the crown and title will be returned to winner Pushpika De Silva after her eligibility was confirmed.
Sri Lanka's biggest beauty contest saw a dramatic ending involving the winner have her crown seized from her head.
The winner of the "Mrs. Sri Lanka" beauty contest reportedly suffered head injuries after a previous winner snatched away her crown on Sunday.
The ugly scenes unfolded moments after beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the "Mrs Sri Lanka" title at Colombo theatre and she was crowned by prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa.
Shortly after De Silva's win, the 2019 winner and Mrs World Caroline Jurie rushed to the stage and seized De Silva's crown, claiming she could not be awarded the title because she was divorced.
"Small request, as for the Mrs. World, there is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced. So, I am taking my first step saying that crown goes to first runner up," Caroline Jurie, winner of Mrs. World 2019 told the audience.
Pageant rule state that competitors must be married and not divorced.
Jurie then placed the crown on the runner-up, prompting a tearful De Silva to walk off stage.
De Silva later took to Facebook and described the incident as “injustice and insult,” saying she would take legal action.
"If some had hope to make me fall through this, to halt my future journey; I don't think they can do that. I am an iron lady, if I were to fall it would have been three to four years ago when I fell, I would have fallen then. Because I always rose from where I fell," she said during an interview with press.
She confirmed that she is separated from her husband and lives with her child and dared the jury to find evidence of claims, saying living apart does not necessarily mean being a divorcee.
"Single mothers like me who have been stranded alone with their children, suffer a lot in Sri Lanka today. This crown isn't mine, it's theirs. If I can bring their fate to light through this crown and position, that would be my happiness. I give this crown to mothers who have become alone. I give this crown to their children, to those women (single mothers), women in Sri Lanka and in the world," she added.
According to the contest organisers, the prize has been returned to De Silva, after they confirmed she is not a divorcee.