Spencer Elden, the baby from Nirvana's Nevermind album cover, sues alleging child exploitation
Spencer Elden, who as a baby appeared on the cover of Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind, is suing the band, alleging he was "sexually exploited" by the nude picture, which has become one of the most enduring images of alternative music.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-25/baby-from-nirvana-nevermind-album-cover-sues-band/100406408The image shows Mr Elden as baby, swimming towards a US dollar bill on a fishhook.
More than 30 million copies of Nevermind were sold, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
While interpreted by most as a nonsexual image of a child, a filing on behalf of Mr Elden in the California Central District Court alleges it amounted to "commercial child sexual exploitation".
The lawsuit names the band's surviving members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, along with the estate of dead frontman Kurt Cobain, production companies and photographer Kirk Weddle.
The lawsuit seeks damages from each of the defendants named in the suit.
"Spencer’s true identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day," it says.
"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."
Mr Elden wound up on the cover as his father was a friend of Weddle, who invited him to participate in the photo shoot.
He has previously participated in publicity shoots recreating the album cover as an adult.
But in interviews he had expressed ambivalence about the cover.
In a 2016 interview with GQ Australia on the 25th anniversary of the album's release, he said his views about it had changed over time.
Nevermind established Nirvana as one of the best known bands of the 1990s, with hits like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are."I've recently been thinking, 'What if I wasn't OK with my freaking penis being shown to everybody?' I didn't really have a choice," he said.
The band enjoyed worldwide success, which was cut short by Cobain's death in 1994.
The album will be 30 years old next month.
I guess Mr Elden found his own way to swim toward the dollar
I hope the judge isn't stupid and throws this out