An on-stage fracas which saw the the current Mrs World pull the crown from the head of the new Mrs Sri Lanka has lead to the beauty queen being arrested by Colombo police.
Caroline Jurie, who was last year’s winner and went on to win Mrs World, yanked the crown from Pushpika de Silva minutes after she was declared Mrs Sri Lanka 2020 in a gala at Colombo's Nelum Pokuna theatre on Sunday.
Jurie claimed that de Silva was ineligible for the prize as she was divorced, and the rules stipulate that all contestants must be married. However, while de Silva is estranged from her husband, the pair are still legally married.
Jurie’s surprise announcement sparked unruly scenes minutes after the chief guest, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's wife Shiranthi, had left the theatre.
De Silva needed hospital treatment after the incident, seen by stunned spectators in a packed venue as well as a live social media audience.
On Thursday, police in Colombo arrested Jurie. "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 a police station in Colombo on Thursday that she was ready to drop the 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."
Police said a court hearing was fixed for April 19 and Jurie and her associate who crashed the stage have been released on bail.
Neither of them or their lawyers made any comments to reporters outside the police station.
The local franchise holder for the pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, said they were "deeply disturbed and sincerely regret" the behaviour of Jurie.
Jayasinghe said they were claiming compensation from Jurie for damages to the stage and backstage dressing rooms, where several mirrors had been smashed.
The incident also meant the event dragged on for two hours longer than scheduled, leading to theatre management demanding an additional fee of half a million rupees ($2,500), Jayasinghe added.
Jurie has also been accused by organisers of bringing disrepute to the event.
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".