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. mike

    I'm just saying real or not that girl has a nice A$$!! Riot or not I'd make out with her too!

    June 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HandyMetalworks.com

    Is this the film set for Crank 3?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MrMailman

    SHE WAS UNDERAGE

    June 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      OK thanks. I'll add that to the fantasy.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joanna

    what a cool picture!

    June 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jimmyjam048

    When riots break out, they are sudden, unexpected and violent. If one develops and you try to run to the cops for help, keep in mind they have hundreds if not thousands of people ( who look like you) running toward them trying to hurt them.
    Most likely you will get arrested, for rioting or get your head bashed in.
    Being in the middle of a riot is like trying to avoid a swarm of bees. You can't just walk away as the crowds are huge and it's near impossible to determine which direction is "away" from the riot.. You didn't expect it, ddn't plan for it, but t,here you are, scared and fighting for your life. It's very readable that this lad is confident and injured young day. What was supposed to do? Leave her there to Be ttrampled to death?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmyjam048

      This should read "comforting an injured young lady"

      June 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • rizzo

      The only riot I've ever been involved with was caused by the police. Getting away from the police and somewhere indoors is always your best bet. The police WILL cause a riot just to move a group of people on. The police WILL pepper spray/beat people who are not threatening them and who are no way involved with the riot. You will have no recompense for this and will be arrested for trying to defend yourself.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pat

    at the very least it shows how beautiful life can be, even when something like a riot is completely surrounding you. Props to seizing the moment sir

    June 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe Regular

    Ummm, I don't get it. This is interesting in what way?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      North.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. todd karabel

    Hell yah i love it.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bonez

    I thought he was just a romantic rapist.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kyle

    did everyone forget why this all happened? GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!! PARADE TOMORROW!! Canucks better luck next year! and who cares about the picture it just reminded me of the shutout game 7 we had!!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fernt

      congrats, Bruins. you deserved the cup!

      June 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • gremlin

      No we didn't forget at all. A bunch of pathetic losers who try to compensate for the emptiness of their life by claiming vicarious victory through a sports team once again used a loss (or a victory) as a chance to destroy property and cause injury. Pathetic.

      June 18, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • drew

      I completely agree with you Gremlin, Its pathetic that a sporting event can enrage people so much that they act like animals, Its equally pathetic that people who arent interested in proffessional sports have to DEFEND that position. Well I am not interested in sports because I have a full life and dont need sports to fill a void in my life, and Certainly after seeing the disgusting behavior of so called sports fans, I am right not to care about them.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • tnieters73

      Drew, yes we can all see that your life is so full.. I guess this is why you are posting a comment on the 25th comment page of a story about sports fans whom you profess not to care about.. You must lead a very full life indeed.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicago1963

      Completely agree. Don't blame the police for a bunch of lunatics losing all common sense over a child's game. That should be the main focus with the riots. There is no reason why it should have happened in the first place. Every one that did any damage or caused any violence at all should be held accountable with a prison sentence or at least a huge fine. Too many adults running around with the intelligense of an 8 year old.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • daws

      Yeah great reason to assault people and set cars on fire that for all you know people worked years to be able to get.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marina

    they do not look injured 😉

    June 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marky Merlot

    Iconic! just like the American sailor kissing a nurse, in New York City, on VJ day("The Kiss").
    I think from what I've read, she was hurt and her boyfriend was just comforting her.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kissed

      "Just like the American sailor kissing a nurse, in New York City, on VJ day ("The Kiss").

      Sure, except the nurse didn't have her skirt wrapped around her waist with her panties showing. Her mother must be so proud.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WilliamJames

    So this generation's rendition of the iconic kiss image of the sailor returning home from war and kissing his girl in the V-Day celebration is a pair of drunks laying in the street during a sports hooligan riot..

    June 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mamahesketh

      hahahahaha that is hilarious! Sounds about right!

      June 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Riley

      yeah... how romantic................

      June 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alex Riley

    "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."

    Sounds she shes calling her son a retard. I mean being oblivious to whats going on around you is far from a good thing. Was he high? lol. And theres alot of speculation about the photo, how do we know hes not some sick little perv that seen a girl on the ground and was trying to get lucky? Regardless this is not news worthy CNN... thanks for nothing.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marcella

    "That's our boy"??? I have a feeling that most of the idiots in this riot were raised by this lady or her relatives.....

    June 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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