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Reigning Mrs. World arrested over onstage melee in Sri Lanka

·1 min read

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Police in Sri Lanka on Thursday arrested the reigning Mrs. World for pulling the crown off the head of the winner of a Mrs. Sri Lanka beauty pageant and allegedly causing injuries. She was later released on bail.

Caroline Jurie, who won the Mrs. World 2020 competition, was accused of hurting Pushpika De Silva, who won the Mrs. Sri Lanka title at a televised pageant held in Colombo on Sunday.

Moments after De Silva won the title, Jurie, who is also Sri Lankan, came on stage and snatched the crown from her, saying she was ineligible because she was divorced. Jurie then gave the crown to the first-runner up, declaring she was the winner.

In a statement on her Facebook page, De Silva denied being divorced.

"Being apart is one. Divorce is something else. I’m still an undivorced woman,” she wrote.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said police received a complaint from De Silva that she suffered injuries when her crown was removed.

Rohana said Jurie and a model, Chula Padmendra, were arrested Thursday on charges of “simple hurt and criminal force” and were later released on bail. The two women have been ordered to appear in court on April 19.

Jurie declined to comment as she left the police station.

The incident at Sunday's pageant, which was attended by the prime minister's wife, created a huge uproar in the Indian Ocean island nation. On Monday, organizers of the pageant said they would return the crown to De Silva.

Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press