Colombo police Thursday arrested the current “Mrs World” on charges of assault over an on-stage fracas in which she pulled the crown off the head of the new “Mrs Sri Lanka”.
Caroline Jurie yanked the crown off Pushpika de Silva minutes after she was declared “Mrs Sri Lanka 2020” at a Sunday gala at Colombo’s Nelum Pokuna theatre.
Jurie was previous year’s “Mrs Sri Lanka” and had gone on to win the “Mrs World” competition organised by a California-based company.
Pushpika de Silva needed hospital treatment after the incident, seen by stunned spectators in a packed theatre as well as a live social media audience.
“We have arrested Jurie and (her associate) Chula Manamendra in connection with a charge of assault and causing damage to Nelum Pokuna (theatre),” senior police official Ajith Rohana said.
De Silva told reporters outside the Cinnamon Gardens police station in Colombo Thursday that she was ready to drop charges if Jurie made a public apology, but she had refused.
“I tried to end this out of court, but she has refused,” de Silva said. “I can forgive, but not forget.”
There was no immediate comment from Jurie or her lawyer.
Police sources said a court hearing was likely next week and Jurie and her associate who crashed onto the stage on Sunday could be granted bail later Thursday.
Jurie had claimed that de Silva was divorced and therefore ineligible for the prize.
To qualify for the title, contestants must be married. De Silva is estranged from her husband, but they are still legally married.
Organisers said they were claiming compensation from Jurie for damages to the stage and backstage dressing rooms where several mirrors had been smashed.
Jurie has also been accused by organisers of bringing disrepute to the event.
The local franchise holder for the pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, said they were “deeply disturbed and sincerely regret” the behaviour of Jurie.
Social media calls have been mounting to strip Jurie of her “Mrs World” title, with one meme calling for her to be rebranded as “Mrs Under World.”