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Sri Lankan beauty queen released on bail over Mrs World scuffle

Sri Lankan police released the reigning Mrs. World, Caroline Jurie, on bail Thursday, soon after her arrest for a fight with another beauty contestant.

In a televised ceremony on Sunday, Caroline Jurie yanked the crown off Pushpika de Silva, minutes after she was declared the latest Mrs. Sri Lanka.

Jurie passed the crown to the runner-up instead, prompting de Silva to walk off stage. Jurie said divorced women were ineligible to hold the title of "Mrs Sri Lanka" as the pageant is intended for married women. Though estranged from her husband, de Silva is not divorced.

De Silva needed hospital treatment after the incident and filed a complaint against Jurie, local media reported.

Police arrested Jurie when she came to a police station to record her statement, charging her with intimidation and assault, and for causing damage to Colombo's Nelum Pokuna Theatre, where the pageant was held.

Deputy inspector general Ajith Rohana said Jurie was later released on bail and that a court hearing was set for April 19.

De Silva demands apology

The winner of the Mrs Sri Lanka contest goes on to compete in the Mrs World contest, which is organized by a California-based company.

Contestants in both Mrs World and Mrs Sri Lanka are required to be married. De Silva is separated from her husband, but they are still legally married.

Pageant organizers returned the prize to her on Tuesday at a news conference after they confirmed she was not a divorcee and apologized to her.

De Silva told reporters on Thursday that she was ready to drop the charges against Jurie if she issued a public apology.

"I tried to end this out of court, but she has refused," de Silva said. "I can forgive, but not forget."

Jurie, who was crowned last year's "Mrs Sri Lanka" and had gone on to win the "Mrs World" competition, told local media she would speak out on the incident at a later date.

Damage backstage at venue

Chandimal Jayasinghe, the local franchise holder for the pageant, said they were "deeply disturbed and sincerely regret" Jurie's behaviour, adding that they were seeking compensation for damages to the stage and backstage dressing rooms where several mirrors had been smashed.

According to Jayasinghe, the incident caused the gala to last two hours longer and building management called for an additional fee of half a million rupees (€2,100, $2,500).

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's wife Shiranthi had also attended Sunday's event, but left before the incident unfolded.

This year's Mrs World competition will be hosted by Sri Lanka.

mvb/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters)


Updated : 2021-04-19 14:43 GMT+08:00