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. Bryon

    And we need to know this why?

    June 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funky-face

      And you need to read it and comment on it if you dont find it interesting why??

      June 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Why put yourself through all of the craziness life can sometimes deal out? Despite the dark clouds focus on what's important in your life. This is a fantastic depiction of the lyrics that the great John Lennon once penned.
    All You Need Is Love.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WhackyWaco

    The scene looks staged.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      Yup...the riot police, who were unable to control anything going on in the city, managed to create a cordon just for these two actors to make out in the middle of the street...that must be it...
      Sometimes, a kiss is just a kiss.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. djdshf

    And they are proud of this photo??? The actions of all these losers who rioted was a disgrace. It's an embarrassment to Canada. They should be ashamed of destroying their own city,

    June 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      Did anyone say they were rioting? No. The riot took place immediately after the game and near the hockey arena...they could have just been attending the game, or out enjoying the summer evening, or any of a thousand other explanations...

      June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whisker Bisquit

      They're Australian – boyfriend and girlfriend. He was just trying to, um, "comfort" her after she got knocked down. The only embarrasment to Canada are self-righteous, sanctimonius pukes such as your self.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada3ca

      It is coming to light now that these riots were started from visitors to Vancouner/Canada. It has been said that these riots were very planned out. And that they maybe not be canadian at all. I would like to hope that as a Canadian, we have far more respect for our country then to go and trash it. The truth about who the people are that started this disgrace will come to forward and they can be punished for the damage they have caused on not only a city, but on a country.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      The chick was Canadian. The boyfriend was visiting on Australia. Personally, from these comments, I think Canadians take themselves too seriously. The riot was a terrible occurence, but it is not like it hasn't ever happened before all over the world. As for the pic, I believe that photo journalists are still capable of capturing that occasional rare moment. It's a beautiful and poetic picture!

      June 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      @Canad3ca – like Brock Anton?

      June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      I agree, Really? Common sense tells a non-participant in a riot to stay down and out of the way as the police roll over you. She was scared. He comforted her. That's what real men are supposed to do.

      June 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ace12314

    I find it hilarious that we have to know this. people just want to know bc she has a nice butt.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      That is one scrumptious rump.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • rramola

      100% correct

      June 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin in Atlanta

      I'd riot on dat rump...

      June 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      By the quaility of your posts...she's WAY out of all of your leagues.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff

    Absolutely great! Fantastic picture regardless of the story but the story is good too. Nice to see if the young couple got together.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      If it is who the article says it is, they were already dating...

      June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. apostate

    nice gap

    June 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      Guess you've never seen anything like that off the internet, huh. What a candy-ass.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jturgeon

    Nice up-skirt shot, ZING!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      Go back to the one-handed keyboard, Perv.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pliny

    I'd have prefered a picture of the Vancouver police beating an anarchist to a bloody pulp.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat2u

    This looks like it could be one of those actio / adventure movies where they throw in a s-x scene for no apparent reason. I mean, it has nothing to do with the plot.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      This is crazy !! I tried to post the same comment a couple of minutes ago, but they wouldn't post it because i spelled out the word s-x. Geez !!!! Have we become that sensitive a word that is used all the time ?

      June 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chella

      ya I tried posting 3 times before I realized that I was being bounced for the three-letter expression "double-you-tee-eff". But apparently saying B.S. is OK. It's strange.

      June 19, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jaws

    I can see right up them shorts.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      Stop embarrasing yourself. You behave like a football player spiking the ball. My only inference is that you've never been there before.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr Sarcasm

    She doesn't look hurt. She just looks like a slot.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patricia

    This photo is iconic! I feel sorry for you Bryon.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Angelou Conag

    hahaha..this is hilarious!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Agustus

    Totally Shaved!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
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