A beauty pageant winner in Sri Lanka was told she had been disqualified and had her crown taken from her head on stage because she was believed to be divorced.
Just moments after being revealed as the 2021 winner of Mrs Sri Lanka, a pageant for married women, Pushpika De Silva faced humiliation as last year’s winner, Caroline Jurie, took the mic and announced that the runner-up should take the title instead.
The crown was then forcibly removed from a tearful De Silva, who walked off stage, and given to the woman who came second, footage from the ceremony shows.
“There is a rule that you all have to be married and not divorced,” Jurie told the audience. “The crown goes to the first runner-up.”
De Silva’s relationship status has not been fully clarified. It seems she may be separated from her husband, according to reports, but she has stated that she is not divorced.
She reportedly needed hospital treatment for injuries caused when the crown was taken off.
Now, according to media in Sri Lanka, the title will be handed back to her.
Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Mrs Sri Lanka World, said the incident should not have happened and that the winner was decided unanimously by the organising committee and judges, according to online newspaper the Colombo Page.
He said he did not condone Jurie’s actions, the paper said.