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. Oh! Canada

    She turned back into a frog. It was on Coast to Coast AM.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Oh! Canada

    Really. It's why it took this story a while to come out. She started hopping around and by the time they caught her, half of CNN's crew had warts. (you can't get warts from a woman, not even if she's Canadian)

    June 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Anonymous

    that mom's a milf.

    + what's the big deal? it's just another couple kissing in public.

    June 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ltcoljpm

      It's not his mom it's his sister...

      So it's a SILF 🙂

      June 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MOCaseA

    I just love how everyone wants to make more of something than it is. When my wife is scared, I hold her, kiss her, and help her feel less scared. What is wrong with that?

    June 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Behind Your Back

      So do I. I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    @ Steve: All your worried about is that I said "white" ? Any woman who lays her ass on the concrete where the whole world can see, is nothing but a bimbo!

    June 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lomlom

      @ Doug going @ Steve: All your worri.....

      Dude did you read the story? Why is she a bimbo? SMH at the level of dumbness

      June 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • primafacie

      Anyone who thinks a woman who accidentally exposed her underwear when she was terrified because a riot was occurring is a "bimbo" is a judgmental jerk.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wavejump1100

    the only people that have anything to apolagize for are the pathetic sore loser hockey fans that decided to destroy property and act like morons because thier team lost.

    June 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • GTA

      Hockey fans don't show up to a game with the means to light cars on fire. Those responsible for these riots were the same deadheads who showed up at the G20 Summit.

      June 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kazaam

      @GTA: no hockey fans show up to cram weiners and sausage in their mouths while watching hairy sweaty men clang their sticks against each other.

      June 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Oh! Canada

    ...but how do you interview a frog? They tried kissing her again, but nothing. Then this old hippie dude tried licking her back. He started halleucinating and the frog turned back into a woman, put on some bell bottoms and burned her bra.

    June 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Oh! Canada

    If they would have just put the frog in a plastic bag, hardly any of them would have come down with warts. But we didn't care about safe-sax back in the 60s any more than Slick Willie Clinton did in the 90s Besides, Monica was allready a frog, albiet full-figured. (You can see frog in her face if you look close. Big mouth, bug-eyes. Sticky tongue, etc.)

    June 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. computedemotion

    I was just watching live Interview footage of this case on http:// therealaxi .etvcorp.hop.clickbank. net? "Dont forget to remove the spaces" .Anywayz it was amazing what they both were saying in the interview.Must admit the photographer got an amazing photo!

    June 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lomlom

    a dumb white girl with a flat ass? Is that what you got from the story and picture? Did you magnify the pic and try to peek at her ass? Ewwwwwwwwwww you are sick. Just read the story and move on. Ewwwww.

    June 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • vmspecht

      You my friend are an ass. Your comments are so out of place, maybe in a dirty alley.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdoe

      You obviously prefer the same s*x.

      June 19, 2011 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. ilokid

    She's on her back, her skirt is up to her waist, his right hand is nowhere in sight. If he is, indeed, comforting her, then we had an entirely different name for it when I was their age.

    Perhaps this is an new, and extreme, version of 'planking'.

    June 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PAPilot

    This is what happens when the Sheeple let government Jackbooted Thugs run amok. Innocent people have their lives ruined so a bunch of testosterone junkies can get their alpha-male dominance ritual going.

    June 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Keri

    KĂ©rjĂĽk, fogd be, Oh! Canada!

    June 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. deanna

    Its also pathetic that cops run down innocent people when they are there to not only stop a riot but protect the innocent. Would it have been the same outcome if I'd be crossing the street with my child? Would we have been run down and run over too. Bags.

    June 18, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • vr

      That was a riot. And an agressive crowd, which police had to move. In the rush of the violence, they didn't see them as two love birds who just happen to take the stroll. So please put a blame where it belongs, on rioters. And please don't bring your child to the riot.

      June 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Anti-Troll

      They were not "innocent," they wanted to be there. Anyone who wanted to leave the area could've after about 10:30 PM, as the Skyrail opened up, and so did the C-bus, and people could exit any time they want. Anyone there after that WANTED to be there.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Doug

    @ Lomlom: Thanks for chiming in. You're really smart! If the word "white" is such an issue to you guys, I'll leave it out and still say she is still a bimbo for showing her ass. My opinion. We don't have to agree. So what!

    June 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • London

      your an idiot like she really had time to make sure she was picture ready after being run down by police to avoid being called a bimbo by ignorant people like you. #yourahumanbeingfail

      June 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafaelrobyns

      Good lord Doug, you are a moron.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob in Atlanta

      Doug, did you watch the video? Can you imagine what happened in the video happening to you and a significant other? I guess if she wasn't picture perfect after a car crash you would say the same thing.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Etta

      She didn't "show" it, you fool. She was knocked over and someone took a picture.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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