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."

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

    it would be more poignant if the riot wasn't due to a freakin hockey game.

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

    How about some real news stories.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. adrifter

    There's a second picture of this at The woman looks like she's hurt.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Riley

      Yeah and perv boy was kissing her because she was scared? yeah thats what a scared hurt woman wants.. some nerd to kiss her.. how bout you pick her up and carry her to a more safe place then in the middle of the road smart guy. Just lay with her and get trampled too.. lmao

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

      No his kissed her on the cheek while was trying to calm her down, and calming a person down is the first thing you do when someone is hysterical and hurt. He wasn't planting one on her. Read the damn story.

      June 18, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dana G

    I LOVE this photo!! hot, hot, hot!! with all the madness in our world, it's nice to see a happy in love couple =)

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

      What a load of manure! Attention seekers, that's all they are! Mommy and Daddy probably didn't love them enough! blah blah blah.....

      June 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. opinion

    my comments are not getting posted! Why?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarterst Human

      Because no one likes you.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dina

    I think its a beautiful picture, awkward timing but very sensual, and romantic!

    June 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarterst Human

      Wanna get freaky tonight?

      June 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Poppy

    In the very next picture he puts her in the Buck

    June 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mahmood Allah

    Ashtblad mulahh hypital ya Vancouver lol

    June 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bon rurgundy

    you can't even see what this girl or her butt actually looks like. only thing i've learned from this article is that a lot of you need to get laid... badly...

    June 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      I wouldn't care if it was bad.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OnOffUpInHur

    Why is he wearing long pants, but she's wearing a short skirt?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      Would you want it the other way around?

      June 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pat

    He is a street performer,..The whole thing was staged on the spur of the moment..

    June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Quill

      You evidence is irrefutable.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Neal

    Tickets for 2 to playoff game= $ 500.00
    Enough beer to get you drunk= $40.00
    Showing your ass during a riot= Priceless

    June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. paul

    The only good thing to come out of this whole mess.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. paul

    The only good thing to come out of this mess.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Emmy

    well is a shame CNN don't understand the message behind this action
    but is not CNN fault since for them the priority is spread fear and anger

    June 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29