Reigning Mrs. World Caroline Jurie announced on Friday that she has given up her crown amid controversy surrounding her behavior at the Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant.
Pushpika De Silva won Mrs. Sri Lanka, but during the crowning ceremony on Sunday, Jurie snatched the tiara off De Silvia’s head, claiming De Silva was divorced which is against the pageant’s rules. De Silva, however, clarified in a Facebook post that she is separated, not divorced and said she was injured during the incident.
Jurie discussed the drama in a video post about her decision to step away from the pageant that has been “tainted” by the crowning ceremony.
“I will always stand for what I believe is right,” the former title-holder said in a video while wearing her crown and sash. “Every beauty pageant has a set of rules and regulations. What I was pushing for from the beginning was a fair stage. The rules and regulations are equal to all. Rules aren’t there so that we can find loopholes so that we can win at any cost. I believe rules and regulations are there for a reason.”
She continued, “The Mrs. World pageant was not created to discriminate divorced or separated women but to celebrate the dreams of the married women.” Jurie also implied that there are other pageants De Silva could have applied to as a separated woman.
“I know I burst a few bubbles, created conversation and even a discussion about class and values that a queen wearing [a] crown should stand for,” Jurie said. “If class is defined by how one behaves in the eye of the public, I will let you draw [your own] conclusion [on] that. But if class is also defined by how you behave when no one is watching you and what values you stand by, that is the true test of character.”
The former Mrs. World stressed the importance of standing up for “values even if it means to stand alone in the front of disaster.”
“My only intention was to stand up for the injustice caused to the competitors throughout this competition which was tainted with heavy politicization,” she said.
At the end of the clip, Jurie said, “I am now ready to hand over the crown,” before removing the crown from her head.
On Thursday, Jurie along with model Chula Padmendra were arrested on “charges of simple hurt and criminal cause” related to the crowning ceremony incident, police spokesman Ajith Rohana told BBC. Reps of Jurie and Padmendra did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
They both are expected to appear in court on April 19, according to the Associated Press.
In a video of the crowning ceremony, published by the Colombo Gazette, Jurie told the audience, “There is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced, so I am taking my first steps in saying that the crown goes to the first runner-up.”
She then removed the crown from the winner’s head and placed it on runner-up, prompting De Silva to walk offstage, the video shows.
De Silva later said she suffered “injuries to my skull” when Jurie “snatched” her crown.
“So, even though that symbolic crown has been snatched from my head, I would like to inform you that I have already taken the necessary legal action for the injustice and insult that has taken place,” she wrote in a statement translated from Sinhala.
The chief organizer of Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, also condemned Jurie’s actions, telling BBC, “We are disappointed. It was a disgrace how Caroline Jurie behaved on the stage and the Mrs. World organisation has already begun an investigation on the matter.”