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. jonny

    Maybe we should ban sporting events since people can't keep their shyte together when their team loses.
    Sore sore losers .

    June 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Amy

    Just wait and see. Next week they'll be on Inside Edition or Good Morning America telling their story.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. poppa smurf

    fvkin canadians. don't know how to be civil. except defeat graciously and with a shot of whiskey. blame canada! .. oh, and i'd tap that.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. poppa smurf

    fvkin canadians. don't know how to be civil. except defeat graciously and with a shot of whiskey. blame canada! .. oh, and i'd tap that!

    June 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    @ rafaelrobyns: If you think my comments makes me a moron, so be it. I still say she is a bimbo! What are you gonna do about it, nothing!

    June 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Smokey

    A great photograph, it really is an amazing thing. I think that the reaction to it kind of tells you what this "internet" is all about, it speaks for itself.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robbing in Atlanta

    Jes becuzz da po po be beatin' ya'll down south don't nessarely be dat away up noath. Know wut am sayin'?

    June 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • CrazyCircleWeLiveIn

      Um English please

      June 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kissers explain [Rodney King] photo

    We should probably just keep kissing. But let's do it over there.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rodney King explains...

    I wasn't kissin' no woman. That was the pavement foo.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. @Dan

    We were trying to see if anyone was stupid enough to take us seriously. We do it all the time, so don't feel too stupid.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rkh

    Just two people milking their 15mins

    June 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ian

    grats, first couple caught on camera kissing or something? Why is this news? who gives a f?

    Stupid Canadians trashed their own city for losing a game is the news not these 2. Idiots.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. brown

    A good kitty lickin' is all she really needed!

    June 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. @Dan

    Look. Ya gotta use your brain. If someone posted that the picture was a copy/paste from the movie 'The Blue Lagoon' you'd know right away it was BS. Brooke Shield's has tiny little twigs for legs. (back then, now as big as a horse) Now zoom in on the back of her left leg. See! Cottage cheese! Brooke Shield's ain't got no cottage cheese! (back then. now it's Meadow Gold)

    June 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. matt

    That's nice. Any news about the those pigs getting fired?

    June 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
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