The winner of the Sri Lankan beauty pageant has suffered a head injury after a physical argument broke out on stage.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the “Mrs Sri Lanka” crown at a national TV event on Sunday.
A short time later, the winner of the 2019 beauty prize took Ms De Silva’s title, saying she could not be given the title because she had been divorced.
The prize has now been returned to Ms De Silva, after competition organizers confirmed she was not divorced.
The judges named Ms De Silva in 2021 as the winner of the Mrs Sri Lanka final at the Colombo Theatre on Sunday night
But the 2019 winner, Caroline Jurie, stripped Ms De Silva of her crown, citing a competition law that the winner should be married and not divorced or single.
“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,” Ms Jurie told the audience.
She placed the crown on the runner-up, which led to De Deva’s in tears as she left the stage, showed a video of the incident.
The editors apologized to Ms De Silva, who said she was seperated, but not divorced.
In a Facebook post, she said she went to the hospital for treatment for a head injury after the incident.
Ms De Silva said she would take legal action against the “irrational and insulting” treatment she had been given.
“I’m still an un-divorced woman,” she wrote. “A true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman’s crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman’s crown!”
We Are Disappointed
The national director of Mrs Sri Lanka World, Chandimal Jayasinghe, told the BBC that the crown would be returned to Ms De Silva on Tuesday.
“We are disappointed,” he said, adding: “It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs World organisation has already begun an investigation on the matter.”
Police have questioned Ms Jurie, who is the current holder of the “Mrs World” title, as well as Mr Jayasinghe, about the incident.
The Mrs Sri Lanka World beauty pageant is a major contest in the country. The prime minister’s wife was among the guests at the ceremony.