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. Valerie

    It's important to know because alot of photos in history although seem like they were taken in the moment were actually staged. So it's interesting to know if this photo was staged or was it caught in the moment. Also it's a plus to know what is going on in the pic for future in my opinion of course. But this is a great picture and if it really was in the moment it makes it even better to me.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jones

    Wow, his mom is proud of him. What is there to be proud about? My son made out with a scandalous chick during a riot! He is such an over-achiever!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      His mom is probably a dirt bag too

      June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • GK

      From the article:

      "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."

      Reading comprehension on the internet is in a perpetual state of decline.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bulldogge

      hahaha! very true! what is this world coming too??! if that was my daughter or son I'd disown them...idiots

      June 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Jew

    He got arrested because he banged her in front of the police.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laowai4life

      For future reference. There's no need to share your latest masturbatory image.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Mighty useful. Make no mistake, I apprcetiae it.

      July 29, 2011 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Banzai

    "he scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    June 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. yum yum


    June 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Whisker Bisquit

    I see that the "Beaver Brigade" is out in full force.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rabble..

    Hope he wore protection.. click it or ticket!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kj

    Just need 2 know who she is, 4 baby has a lot of meat in her trunk 4 a white girl. Makes u wanna....

    June 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brandon

    Nice legs.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Perv

      Nice black panties

      June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kristen

    It does actually look like he's kissing her on the cheek so that would give some merit to the whole "she was injured and he was comforting her" bit of the story.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Devil

    No way am I ending this date without getting some. I paid for the lobster!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      What lobster?

      June 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • speckledmom

      It was a joke, Confused. sheesh.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    Who cares...It's a cool picture regardless if he was kissing her passionately or just to comfort her because she got hurt. Plus..If it is STAGED I don't see anything wrong with the statement they are making....You damn Yanks...Grow up and stop making a g0d damn conspiracy out of everything !!!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      The photo is silly because it proves an article like this is the only way Canadians can make international news that anyone actually notices. It must be sad to be them. No wonder they riot over sports.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • speckledmom

      It IS one of the best photos I have ever seen!

      June 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laowai4life

      Victor: Spoken like a dedicated viewer of domestic CNN, a network that covers Girl Scout events rather than international news. Canada doesn't have the same kind of news as the U.S. because we don't kill each other in the same tragic numbers as you, we have more respect for the law, our education system is better, as is our health care. We consistently score miles ahead of the U.S. in academic tests and we live longer and have much lower infant mortality. That's the kind of news we like.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Augie

      Yeah, like Canadians are the only ones who riot over sports. I can think of half a dozen cities here in the U.S. that rioted after their team lost a championship. Idiocy doesn't adhere to national borders.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Logan

    Great @ss on that chick!! Giggity!! 😀

    June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Sarcasm

      You can say ass on this blog. You don't need to change the spelling. Ass ass ass ass ass ass ass ass ass.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goku

      Sweet! ASS ASS ASS! 😀

      June 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • chella

      for some reason reading thru these comments is giving me the giggles. hardy harr harr. 🙂

      June 19, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. fourweeks

    See.... love prevails:)

    June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. What the..

    Yay! go out and riot to find love!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
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