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. Andy

    No sympathy for these two no matter what the story. By being there they were part of the problem, not the solution.

    June 18, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Herkton

    Nice legs! Mmmmmm.

    June 18, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • mr774

      Yes! I'm also a thigh fetish.

      June 18, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    He must also be one smart cookie,escaping from Western Australia would be a sure sign of his high IQ.I read now days it's the worlds Quarry,finally a use for the place.As for Perth,spare me.....what a waste of space.

    June 18, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Me

    Media is moral corrupted. Nasty things like this, would never have been broadcasted in news for just 10 years ago.

    June 18, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. john

    they looklike animals shame

    June 18, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Spaceman

    nice a$$ but she would not be allowed on US airlines in those shorts

    June 18, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. darn

    Damn this is one really good photo there

    June 18, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. patrick

    For me the bottom line is that it is a nice photo that beckons you to look at it. As for rioters after a sports event, thats a totally different subject and an embarassment to the human race.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anadia

    The momentum is perfect; the kindness in that hole confusion; nothing is wrong: the tenderness of this couple is amazing, the frozen picture tells more than a thousand words.
    Do you remember John Lenon? Make love, no war. Go ahead guys. You are awesome. Love

    June 18, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Good Grief

      It's WHOLE, not 'hole'.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cydonius

    she has a nice ass D:

    June 18, 2011 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. 孙浩然

    哈哈!太淡定了。

    June 18, 2011 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. olebiker

    Come on!!! It's a great pic. . . that's all. Make love, not WAR. Can't we all just get along – – –

    June 18, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kamran

    Damn she's fine!

    June 18, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. deuce

    I think it's a beautiful photo! I'm actually on the lookout for a print, if I can get one...

    June 18, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Arnold

    "He's gonna pork her dad.....he's not going to pork her, Russ"

    June 18, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
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