Colombo police on Thursday arrested the current “Ms. World” for assault on a crash on stage in which she tore the crown from the head of the new “Ms. Sri Lanka”.
Caroline Jurie snatched the crown from Pushpika de Silva minutes after being declared “Ms. Sri Lanka 2020” at a gala on Sunday at the Nelum Pokuna Theater in Colombo.
Jurie was “Mrs Sri Lanka” from the previous year and won the “Mrs World” competition organized by a company based in California.
Pushpika de Silva had to be hospitalized after the incident, seen by stunned spectators in a crowded theater as well as by a live audience on social media.
“We have arrested Jurie and (his partner) Chula Manamendra in connection with a charge of assault and damage to Nelum Pokuna (theater),” said senior police official Ajith Rohana.
De Silva told reporters outside Cinnamon Gardens police station in Colombo on Thursday that she was prepared to drop the charges if Jurie issued a public apology, but she refused.
“I tried to end it amicably, but she refused,” said de Silva. “I can forgive, but not forget.”
There was no immediate comment from Jurie or his lawyer.
Police sources said a court hearing was likely next week and Jurie and his associate who crashed on the scene on Sunday could be released on bail later Thursday.
Jurie had claimed that de Silva was divorced and therefore ineligible for the award.
To qualify for the title, applicants must be married. De Silva is estranged from her husband, but they are still legally married.
Organizers said they were seeking compensation from Jurie for damage to the stage and backstage changing rooms where several mirrors were smashed.
Jurie was also accused by the organizers of discrediting the event.
The local franchise holder for the contest, Chandimal Jayasinghe, said they were “deeply disturbed and genuinely regretted” Jurie’s behavior.
Calls on social media have mushroomed to strip Jurie of her title of “Mrs World”, with a meme calling for her to be renamed “Mrs Under World”.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)