New York Daily News
The baby on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” now 30 years old, is suing the band for child pornography, among several other claims.
Spencer Elden has spent his entire life in the public eye, and his feelings have evolved on the album cover, where he is pictured naked in a pool. In his teens, Elden said he enjoyed the notoriety, but by age 25 he was over it.
“I’m p—ed off about it, to be honest,” he told GQ Australia in 2016. “I’ve been thinking, ‘What if I wasn’t OK with my freaking penis being shown to everybody?’ I didn’t really have a choice.”
Elden’s father was paid $200 for his participation in the 1991 photo shoot, tossing his 4-month-old son into a pool. However, Elden claims in the suit that no contract was ever signed.
“Neither Spencer nor his legal guardians ever signed a release authorizing the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness, and certainly not of commercial child pornography depicting him,” the lawsuit, obtained by Pitchfork, reads.
Photographer Kirk Weddle and Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Chad Channing are named as defendants, along with Kurt Cobain’s estate. Several companies that promoted and distributed “Nevermind” are also named.
In addition to the child pornography charges, Elden’s suit says the album’s worldwide distribution amounted to a child sex trafficking scheme. “Nevermind” has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the bestselling albums of all time.
Filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the suit demands $150,000 in damages from each of the 15 defendants under the child pornography charges, along with unspecified damages for Elden’s personal suffering.
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