Caroline Jurie (second left) removes the crown of Pushpika de Silva during the onstage fracas.-AFP

A Mrs World winner facing criminal charges after an on-stage fracas at a Sri Lankan beauty pageant has relinquished her title, organizers said yesterday. Caroline Jurie made international headlines after yanking the crown off the winner at the local segment of Mrs World in Sri Lanka at a Colombo theatre this month. Jurie won the entire Mrs World competition last year in Las Vegas but California-based Mrs World Inc. said in a statement she had now voluntarily stepped down and the 2020 crown has now gone to runner up Kate Schneider of Ireland.

Jurie had faced social media calls to give up her title after being arrested with an associate Chula Padmendra, following the unruly scenes on stage. Both have been charged with using criminal force and causing damage. They are on bail ahead of a first hearing on June 28. Jurie had claimed that this year's Mrs Sri Lanka winner Pushpika de Silva was ineligible for the prize as she was divorced. The Mrs Sri Lanka victor qualifies to enter the next Mrs World competition.

To qualify for the title, contestants must be married. De Silva is estranged from her husband, but they are legally married. The local franchise holder for the pageant, Chandimal Jayasinghe, has demanded compensation from Jurie for damage to the stage and dressing rooms where several mirrors were smashed. - AFP