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. hingedlwnb

    Q: What do you get when you crossbreed an Aussie and a Canuck?
    A: A baby

    June 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Eric

    I see London I see France.....

    June 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Are you related to Sarah Palin?

      June 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cowboy

    Money Shot....

    June 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Glenn

    Welll allllriiiight!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wow

    Nice ass!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • radicalwillie

      My sentiment exactly!!

      June 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Me

    Yes, she's very attractive.
    What's really sad though is all the immature comments here.
    Staged or not, it's a great photo.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      I agree, that's an amazing photo. Something you can be really proud off. I think it can go either way. Bill, that's what I thought, cliff, you're 12.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jerry

    Damn what a lucky guy, I wish i was him

    June 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BellaBlu

    Junk? Wow, any girl would be flattered...not!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cartman

      you love it

      June 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      lol haha. what a low life

      June 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarterst Human

      You don't think rolling around on filthy asphalt is romantic? Sheesh!

      June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      LOL, Not so smart if you posted it TWICE. Awww don't be mad. :) He He

      June 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarterst Human

      You don't think rolling around on filthy asphalt is romantic? Sheesh!

      June 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      LOL ... Not so smart if you posted it TWICE. HE He Awww don't be mad :)

      June 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • D987654321

      Well, truth be told, she had a little "encouragement" from the riot police to get to the asphalt. :)

      June 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reader

      unless you like pain, no not very romatic

      June 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. just saying

    This picture has the ultimate panty shot!!! :D She needs some pants for a decent and respectful picture though.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cartman

    Great Ass

    June 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. aTwitter in Austin

    This is getting a lot of play, even in hip Austin social marketing media. I'm thinkin' someone 'giving aid' wouldn't inter-twine legs; but maybe that's how they do it in Australia.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. i forgot

    Canada is like your upstairs attic. You froget its there but when you see it, your like WOW a whole new world. :)

    June 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. elgiblet1

    "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."

    We have those in America, too... they're called, 'idiots' :D

    June 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    I see this as being one of those pictures that will endure the test of time actually...like a modern day sailor kissing the girl in NY...love conquers all...diggit!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      The sailor kissing the girl photograph popped in the my head when i saw this picture, it really reminds of that.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marwin

    Sure, it looks like fun, till that baton-wielding cop turns around

    June 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
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