Man who appeared on ‘Nevermind’ cover as an infant accuses Nirvana of child pornography in lawsuit
The man who appeared naked as a baby on a famed Nirvana album cover is suing the band, saying they profited off an image that constitutes “child pornography.”
Members of the band, Spencer Elden’s attorney claims in a suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court, “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting [Elden], and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so.”
Now 30, Elden appears on the cover of Nirvana’s smash 1991 record “Nevermind” as a then-infant depicted underwater with a dollar bill on a fishhook.
In the lawsuit, Elden compares his appearance on the album cover to being “like a sex worker,” since he is shown “grabbing for a dollar bill that is positioned dangling from a fishhook in front of his nude body with his penis explicitly displayed.”
Naming the record label, the estate of late frontman Kurt Cobain, the album cover’s photographer and designer, and past band members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Chad Channing, Elden says they “failed to take reasonable steps to protect [him] and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
The “Smells Like Teen Spirit” rockers, Elden says, “leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.”
Elden claims he suffered “lifelong damages” both physical and emotional due to the image.
Elden, who claims he was never compensated for appearing on the cover as a four-month-old, is seeking $150,000 from each defendant, attorney fees and an injunction prohibiting the defendants “from continuing to engage in the unlawful acts and practices described herein.”
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