Last year’s winner of Mrs. World, a beauty pageant for married women, said she would return her crown after ripping one off the head of Mrs. Sri Lanka World 2021 winner, claiming she was divorced – a violation of festival rules .
Pushpika de Silva had just been crowned Ms. Sri Lanka World at a pageant in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when Caroline Jurie, the Ms. World 2020 winner, took the stage and announced, “There is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced. “
“So,” she said, “I’ll take my first step and say that the crown goes to the first runner-up.”
Ms. Jurie, 28, then pulled the crown from Ms. de Silva’s head, pulling her hair in the process, before placing it on top of the runner-up who held back the tears and later gave an acceptance speech. Ms. de Silva left the stage as Ms. Jurie, the two runner-ups, and Chula Padmendra, a Sri Lankan model who was also on stage, hugged. Mrs. Padmendra applauded and victoriously raised her fist in the air.
The brawl was reminiscent of the one at the 2009 Video Music Awards, when Kanye West stormed the stage and grabbed a microphone from Taylor Swift, who had just won Best Female Video, and declared, “I’m going to get you down, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos ever. “
The Mrs. World pageant describes itself on Facebook as “the world’s first beauty pageant for married women, launched in 1984”. According to the organization’s website, Ms. Jurie was crowned Ms. Jurie at the 2020 Las Vegas pageant.
Ms. de Silva said in a Facebook post after the episode that she was separated and not divorced. She said she had “injuries to my skull” and is pursuing legal action against Ms. Jurie “for the injustice and insult that has occurred”. Police arrested Ms. Jurie and Ms. Padmendra “for simple injury and criminal grounds,” BBC News reported.
“Although my crown was ripped off insultingly in front of everyone, I will keep my head straight,” wrote Ms. de Silva.
A representative of the Mrs. World organization, based in California, referred a request for comment to “where the incident took place, in Sri Lanka”, according to its Facebook page. One of the organizers of the pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, told BBC News: “We are disappointed. It was a shame the way Caroline Jurie behaved on stage and the Mrs. World organization has already opened an investigation into the matter. “
Ms. Jurie, who is from Sri Lanka, said in a video posted on Instagram that she “wanted to express my dismay at the recent actions that have led to controversy” and that she “just wanted a fair stage”.
“Even if I have to lose the crown for the values I stand for, I believe I am serving the purpose that the Mrs. World crown stands for,” she said before taking the crown off.