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. TU ARROTE

    Please guys can we move to the real news the hell with this bu!@#$t

    June 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark

    What most people don't realize is that the boyfriend is also her OB/GYN and he was about to give her the annual exam which fully explains the position she was in at the time the picture was taken.

    June 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lomlom

      LOL.....I thought he was hungry and wanted to eat

      June 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • chella

      LOL!!!

      June 19, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Peter E

    Vancouver was just jealous that we had more Canadians on our Boston team than they did. (seriously, check out their respective team rosters! It was basically Canadians fighting other Canadians)

    June 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pat

    He's a struggling actor and stand up comedian !....This was more premeditated than the Riot,...And you wonder why as a society, the message is scewed....

    June 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. terry

    Typical, cops shoot frist and ask qustions later. There is nobody downtown but,the people in the riot? Not one innocent person?but are the police held for there action! No? They wanted to get the hell out of the way. And got beat 4 it! Just like in florida a man trying 2 get his pergnet wife 2 the hospitlal, didn,t stop fast enough, was tasered, his wife screaming in pain in back seat, was then pepper sprayed 4 being onlawful. The baby was born with no promblems. Thank God. S0 people wonder why cops get shoot. Don,t get me wrong there are good cops out there? But they are far and few in between! The bad ones usually get the good ones shoot! So try 2remeber we aren,t all pieces sh!t in this world. Some of us are the good guys. Just because you were a gun and badge, dosen,t make your live any more better than mine.and it sure in the hell dosen,t make you a god. Because my God doesnot die

    June 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MarkAdam

    "He's not usually clued into what is going on around him". Neither is she, and beer will enhance that state of bliss, obviously.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. K

    I liked this better when it was a mystery

    June 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. this story is contrived

    Look closely at the photo. That's not Vancouver. It's Compton. And that's a cut/paste of a beach scene from The Blue Lagoon. (You can see where they cottage-cheesed the undersides of Brook Shield's legs to hide where they were photoshopped) Nothing is at it seems. Nothing.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    What does her being white have to do with anything you p.o.s.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mackiavelli

    The photo captured the essence of what was going on around the couple. Their world was in total anarchy, yet Mr. Jones found the time to console and protect the woman he loves, even if that love may be transcient. For those of of us old enough to know, this photo reminds us of the famous Life magazine photo in which the returning returning WWII sailor spontaneously grabbed the nurse and kissed her passionately. Like so many others, for years, I thought he was returning home to his girlfriend in that photo. It goes to show how timeless photos can last and the depiction they can give. It is art in its truest form, and I am no photographer.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vancouver headline

    Roudy fans apologize after learning an NHL team had won. In other news, voters rejected HR-12 that would have raised the minimum requirement for grade completed by the age of 16 from the 3rd to the 4th grade, and raise the nationwide speed limit to 25 mph. Authorities are asking all citizens to please remove all "Kids and farm tractors just aren't that fast" signs by no later than noon on Oh Canada! day next.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Johnston

      I hate when the media paints these pictures of people without even talking to the people involved. They were obviously scared of what was happening. Why not take a break from storys like this and play a game goo(dot)gl/38yKh

      June 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • GTA

      That would be "O Canada" Einstein.....

      June 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. Obvious

    My2Sense4U : I concur with your diagnosis and will second that motion.

    June 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Never Heardaya

      You concur. Well, that clearly settles it. What a relief it is to know that you actually concur. The world is safe once again.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Caral From SoCal

    She has nothing to be worried about – at least she had ON panties. By today's standards, that's a
    pretty tame view! 🙂
    Good for them.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Best comment yet!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

      June 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Oh! Canada

    Oh! Canada. Where Fore! art thou goeing? A once slow and kind peoples of gentle persuassion and thick-skull hath dwindled like yellow snow melting as a toothless hockey player belches. So so bittersweet.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      LOL......and are 'sports fans' worldwide getting more and more pathetic or what? -a college girl dead in Boston when the Sox 'reversed the curse', a young dad pummeled into a coma after a San Diego game...NBA games turned riots -by the Players. There's a reason ticket sales across the boards are Down...but as long as the beer sales stay up so the losers who aren't even true fans can get their kicks, oh well.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • O Canada

      Judging by your spelling and grammatical errors, it's a safe bet to say that YOU are slow. Canada ranks 2nd among 17 peer countries as per education, something you are quite obviously lacking...

      June 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bilbo

    Looks to me like he's choking her. After all...Vancouver IS the choke capital of the world...is it not? 🙂

    June 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
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