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. Iseebush

    She's about to get a Playboy deal! Damn, thats hot.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frank

    shoulda left the panties at home sweetie if you were really looking to give us a show! 😛

    June 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brako

    looks so fake and retarded

    June 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jimbo

    I wonder if he would have kissed an ugly girl to comfort her?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Do you have a point? Or is your life so miserable that you must disparage everything in the world?

      June 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      My point is that it wasn't to comfort her...

      June 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Bin Laden

      Yes he would have done, he's Australian

      June 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • juliusvernon

      Wzrd1

      Man, you are ornery. It was a valid and funny comment, get off your high horse.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mas8baller

      He's assie oh please big deal. As for your comment Jimbo about if she was ugly if you look at the other pictures from other angles she's not annorexic thin like you think. She's actually a healthy size which isn't popular these days.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ff

    /care

    June 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • G-Man

      She is one hot, injured chick! I'd kiss her too, if It would make her feel better!

      June 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Blogson

    With the bread-and-circuses TV news media in the U.S., the "kissers' probably will appear on every TV interview magazine show available and rake in considerable cash! Great way to exploit the sensationalist-oriented media!

    June 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Obamas Fault

    Okay , thats sweet ! thats all i have to say

    June 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard L Smith

      Sweet? I can see where your one good eye was on that left butt cheek. Yes, that was sweet, dare I say YUMMY!

      June 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dodo

    I think everybody who commented has an IQ of less than 100 and plays warcraft.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Is that a confession?

      June 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • dodo

      Jimbo the punk, probably plays a rogue.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      I really have no idea what you're talking about.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dodo

      Ok then, just Jimbo the punk.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobdole

    Dat a$$

    June 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robb

    Hear hear!

    June 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard L Smith

    Obvious fake pic. Helluva photoshop job, though!

    June 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Plastic Cog Solid

    Who cares? If he isn't standing in front of a tank or making a funny face when the enemy army strolls into town, it isn't noteworthy. You can see this happening all the time in your typical run-down high school.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. villanova

    It was me and my G.F LOL

    June 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Badonkadonk

    Even from that far away we can tell she has a beautiful behind.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JACK BYRON

    IT'S OBVIOUS SHE'S REAL TRAILER TRASH... HE'S A SICK PERVERT.. THEY BOTH WANT TO GET OFF ON SITUATIONS LIKE THIS RIOT .. THEY BOTH NEED HELP.. GET IT !.. AND TAKE HIS MOTHER AND SISTER ALONG WITH YOU THEY NEED HELP ALSO...

    June 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • dodo

      Obviously you have issues and need help, I wonder what secrets you hide....... Getting that angry seeing two people kissing, and it wasn't for fun, he was kissing her as he was trying to help her, look at the kiss, its not a deep one. You are just disturbed because it is raising feeling in you that your mother made you drink warm milk for.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mas8baller

      regardless of if he was helping her or not the fact is Jack makes a valid point. If she was hurt obviously he should comfort & reassure her especially given what had been going on at the same time these days people do especially drunk enjoy making out in wild crazy places or situations so they could be

      June 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
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