Kissers explain famous riot photo
June 18th, 2011
11:20 AM ET

Kissers explain famous riot photo

[Update 8:45 a.m. Saturday] Canada's most famous lovebirds have come forward to explain the kiss photo that made them famous.

Australian Scott Jones and his girlfriend, Alexandra Thomas of Vancouver, British Columbia, told the Canadian network CBC that they were not making out in the street during the Vancouver hockey riot as it appeared in the widely circulated photo by Getty Images photographer Rich Lam.

The two were trying to find a way out of the turbulent downtown area when they were overrun by a phalanx of riot police, they said.

"They started charging at us, and we tried to run away, but Alex couldn't," Jones explained.

"I just tripped up," Thomas interjected. "I'm not sure, but I was starting to get really frightened because I'd never experienced anything like that before. And it's really scary, you know? ... I was upset, and he was there to make sure that I got out OK."

"So I went back for her," Jones said. "They (the police) started beating us with the shields, trying to get us to move. I don't know why; we weren't being aggressive towards them or anything like that. But they eventually they passed over us, and that's when we were on the ground. She was a bit hysterical afterwards, obviously, and I was just trying to calm her down."

See other images from the riot

The couple said they were shocked by the sudden media attention they'd received and didn't know how to respond, but they decided they couldn't let wild internet rumors about the image go unanswered.

"Some people didn't think it was my girlfriend," Jones said. "You know, I drugged somebody, or there was that thing where she got stabbed or something like that? The rumors got out of hand so quickly. We just wanted to clear it up."

Thomas acknowledged the thought of millions of people seeing her exposed legs and black panties made her uncomfortable at first, "but I didn't pose that way, so I think people are able to see it's a moment that happened to be on camera and that it's not embarrassing at all."

"It's actually a really beautiful shot," she said. "I wouldn't have been present enough in that moment to see what was going on, so now I can see that moment, and it's pretty incredible."

[Original post 12:09 p.m. June 17] It was the smooch seen round the world, and now we know the passionate couple's names. At least, we think we do.

The couple were photographed lying in a romantic-looking embrace in the middle of a Vancouver, British Columbia, street while a post-hockey game riot swirled around them Wednesday night.

Australian website ninemsn identified the couple as Perth native Scott Jones and his girlfriend, Alexandra Thomas of Vancouver, after Jones' sister and mother came forward.

"It is something he would do; that's our boy," his mother, Megan Jones of Perth, told ninemsn. "He has always lived in his own world. He's special like that. He doesn't always connect with what's going on around him."

CNN has reached out to the couple but has not confirmed that they are the people in the photo.

Some self-described witnesses have said the woman was injured and the man was comforting her, but online speculation is rife that the photo was staged or that the kissing couple are opportunistic performance artists.

Brett Jones of Perth, who told the Toronto Star he is Scott Jones' father, said the picture is legitimate but is not what it seems.

"She had actually been injured," Brett Jones told the Star. A riot police officer had knocked her down with a shield, he said. "He lay down next to her to comfort her. She was crying, and he just kissed her to calm her down."

Rich Lam, the Getty Images photographer who captured the image, wasn't sure what was happening.

"I just saw these two people and I thought they were hurt," he told NPR. "... I didn't really know what I got until the editor pointed it out."

NPR writer Claire O'Neill compared the scene to an art installation by Tino Sehgal at New York's Guggenheim Museum.

Brett Jones said he told his son not to worry about the doubters.

"Tell your story as it happened and there's nothing you can do about them," he told his son, according to the Star. "I think it's amazing."

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Filed under: Art • Australia • Canada • Crime • Hockey • Protest
soundoff (715 Responses)
  1. wkdklwn

    I love it! It's hot!! People will interpret the photo however they want. Who cares! It's a great pic regardless!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trucutru

    I don't think the photo became famous around the world as a result of the kiss.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatUSay

      From this end, she seems like one hot chick!

      June 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Austin

    Reminds me of the scene described in Bright Eyes' "Old Soul Song"

    June 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerri

    I thought they were just being opportunistic but I can understand if she were hurt, it makes sense but I would think more people would be around to help. It's like a dance floor that everyone just moved aside so the couple could dance.

    I could also see it being completely staged since everything seems to perfect and in place...come on in the middle of riots?

    June 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Slater

    I'm witrh you Lanfear – she's appears hot and there's too many trolls running around here.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dudley

    What a great picture. With morons looting and destroying property around them, these two share a moment that transports them away from the madness into their own world of love.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    "He's special like that. He doesn't always connect with what's going on around him."

    "She had actually been injured," Brett Jones told the Star. A riot police officer had knocked her down with a shield, he said. "He lay down next to her to comfort her. She was crying, and he just kissed her to calm her down."

    Sounds like aspergers to me.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT

      are you his doctor?

      June 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JB

    Australian website ninemsn identified the couple as "Perv" native Scott Jones...

    June 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laowai4life

    The people who've posted negative comments on this article are probably the same type of soulless cretins, who rioted the other night.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      HEY! I may be a souless cretin but nobody, NOBODY compares me to a Canadian and gets away with it!

      June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laowai4life

      Don't worry hingedlwnb. I don't think any thoughtful person is going to compare you to a Canadian any time soon.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      I'm not worried about thoughtful people. Just Canadians.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laowai4life

      Ah, the VERY thoughtful people!

      June 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dirty Joe

    Nice legs!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Her's aren't bad either.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nice1

    All i can say is......she's got a nice azz!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hingedlwnb

    Anarchists!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mainehunter

    Nice Buttcheek!

    June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Al

    She has a NICE ASS!!!!!! DAYUM.......

    June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wally zebco

    Unlike the hockey team, at least one Canadian scored that night.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Five hole?

      June 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laowai4life

      Apart from the fact that the guy in the picture is Australian, half the Bruins are Canadian.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
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