Baby From ‘Nevermind’ Album Cover Claims Child Porn Suit Against Band

Spencer Elden became a well-known figure at just the young age of four months old when he was photographed for the cover of Nirvana’s breakthrough album “nevermind,” while naked in a pool with a dollar bill floating in the water just in front of him.

Now at 30 years old, Elden is furious about the album cover. He has now taken to accusing the band of being child pornographers and has slammed the band’s surviving members, and Kurt Cobain’s estate, with a massive lawsuit, stating that the ban violated federal child pornography statutes and exploited him sexually as a baby.

As stated in the suit, Elden said that he has had to suffer “lifelong damage” stemming from the photo and says that the band, the photographer, and the entire record label “intentionally marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.” Elden also seeks to claim that his guardians did not consent to the taking of the naked photo.

The claim also states that “he was forced to engage in ‘commercial sex acts,’ and that the band went back on an alleged promise to conceal his genitals on the album cover,” as reported by the New York Post.

“The permanent harm he has proximately suffered includes but is not limited to extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations, interference with his normal development and educational progress, lifelong loss of income earning capacity, loss of past and future wages, past and future expenses for medical and psychological treatment, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses to be described and proven at trial of this matter,” states the lawsuit.

Since its release, the 1991 album has made it to triple-diamond status, which means that it has sold more than 30 million copies.

Apparently, Elden has not always harbored these angry feelings toward the album. “In 2016, 25-year-old [Elden] recreated the cover fully clothed to pay homage to the hit record, which blasted indie rock to the mainstream with hits like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Lithium,'” reported the Post.

“I said to the photographer, ‘Let’s do it naked.’ But he thought that would be weird, so I wore my swim shorts,” Elden stated of the photoshoot during the recreation. “The anniversary means something to me. It’s strange that I did this for five minutes when I was 4 months old and it became this really iconic image.”

As stated by Variety, “the album cover depicts Elden underwater in a swimming pool as a then-infant with his genitalia exposed. The image has generally been understood as a statement on capitalism, as it includes the digital imposition of a dollar bill on a fishhook that the baby appears to be enthusiastically swimming toward. Non-sexualized nude photos of infants are generally not considered child pornography under law.”

“Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense,” stated the lawsuit. “Defendants used child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.”

In the suit, Elden is seeking over $150,000 from each one of the defendants which include surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; Courtney Love, the executor of Kurt Cobain’s estate; Guy Oseary and Heather Parry, managers of Cobain’s estate; photographer Kirk Weddle; art director Robert Fisher; and a number of existing or defunct record companies that released or distributed the album in the last three decades, concluded Variety.

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