The winner of Sri Lanka's biggest beauty prize has suffered head injuries after a brawl broke out on stage.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the "Mrs Sri Lanka" title at a ceremony on national TV on Sunday.
Moments later, the 2019 winner seized Ms De Silva's crown, claiming she could not be awarded the title because she was divorced.
The prize has now been returned to Ms De Silva, after pageant organisers confirmed she is not a divorcee.
Judges named Ms De Silva the 2021 winner at the Mrs Sri Lanka final in a theatre in Colombo on Sunday night.
The ugly on-stage melee broke out moments after winning contestant Pushpika De Silva was awarded the title at a Colombo theater Sunday night.
Mrs. World Caroline Jurie, who is from Sri Lanka and was at the event, suddenly hopped on the stage and grabbed the microphone, claiming De Silva was actually divorced and thus disqualified from holding the title.
“There is a rule that prevents women who have already been married and are divorced, so I am taking steps to make the crown go to second place,” Jurie told the stunned crowd.
Jurie then ripped the gold crown off De Silva’s head and put it on the runner-up, prompting tears and chaos, outlets said.
De Silva had to be hospitalized for head injuries from her crown being ripped off, plus trauma.
The contestant later posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed on her Facebook page — while denying she is divorced.
“The pain of my skull when my crown was snatched from my head by the world married beauty queen, the pain I felt when I lost the crown …,’’ De Silva wrote.
“I say a true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman’s crown, but a woman who [helps straighten] another woman’s crown!!
“I know you are expecting my response to the unexpected incident that happened. Even though I have a lot to say, I will post only the essential things here,’’ De Silva said.
She acknowledged that she and her husband live apart but insisted, “I’m not a divorced woman.”
She has since been formally re-declared the winner.