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. bb

    Is that HAIR??????????? woof! waxing overdue!

    June 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jhon

      whatever, she is perfect!!!

      June 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mas8baller

    LOL I can see the iq & maturity level of CNN readers & their lack there of any brains. Grow up people you can tell the male responders. Time for CNN to man up. I'm sure her parents will see it the same way as his father & brother do or the other wanna be men blogging on CNN who have more fingers then IQ points.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • hingedlwnb

      You suck at the keyboardings.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mas8baller

    too bad she wouldnt give you the time of day

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

    Look at the butt on that...he must work out.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jrod

    the absolute first thing I thought when I saw this photo was "dat a$$," I knew I wouldn't be alone...

    June 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Total fake. Nothing at all in focus and taken from a phone, but those two look high res. Nice picture though 🙂

    June 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Whaddya mean nothing in focus? Enlarge the pic and you will see full black underwear, AND... he is clearly kissing her on the cheek, a sign of comforting. When all the dust settles, the truth shall set them free.

      June 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • elena

      It was taken by a professional photographer working for Getty Images....what article did YOU read?

      June 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • elena

      Also, Bob, you missed the point of his post ("they are in high res"). And you could have made your point less creepy by using a focal point besides her panties lol

      June 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. USAER

    lSeems like a perfectly good story, who cares what others say. He was providing comfort to his girlfriend, and no one can argue with that. As long as they are cool with it, who are we to argue. Good job kids. Live your life your own way, don't worry about what other's say.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Audieme

    She's hurt but their legs are intwined with each other...if she was hurt, I would have thought he'd be bending down over her, not laying next to her. :-/ Just my observation.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kamran

    "There's fire under that dress!"

    June 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Buck Ofama

    I'm glad somebody in Vancouver got to score that night!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • grandpaof3

      Have you? How was it? Were you on top? Or was he?

      June 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • HAHA

      HA!!!!!!

      June 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Canadian

    Least someone in Vancouver scored that night!

    June 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nolagurl

    I think there is something sweet about it .... I do feel for her in that now all the pervs in the world will diminish it by making comments about her attributes ... she will just have to hold her head up high and move on .... focus on the positive. Oh to be young, beautiful and in love!

    June 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Soylent

    Way to go Vancouver Police, hitting unarmed women with riot shields.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. i8jomomma

    ha ha.......when are we gonna riot like this in america because we got tea bags running this country into the ground and we want them to go.............that's right.........americans like to be told how and when we can do what we do.......we got know balls to take back what is ours.....they tell us to jump and we say how high

    June 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ethan

      you have a democratic president and a majoirty it t he senate what more do you need?

      June 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JBY

    For all you know, she couldve been hurt, and him being her boyfriend kissed her to comfort her. I doubt they were making out, unless they were really that drunk! Not everything is what it seems !

    June 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MalloryWin

      um, definately making out. i'm pretty sure his right arm is on her breast.

      June 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
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