The baby who appeared on Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album has filed a lawsuit against the band.
The iconic album cover, which depicts a naked baby swimming after a dollar bill on a fishing line, has been made into merchandise such as t-shirts, puzzles, sweatshirts, and blankets.
Well, it looks like the baby, who is not so much a baby anymore, is royally PISSED about the snapshot from 30-years-ago.
Spencer Elden is the man who appeared on the legendary album cover.
— Consequence (@consequence) August 25, 2021
Elden appeared on the cover at just 4 months old. He is now 30-years-old and suing the band.
He is alleging that the image violates child pornography laws. As previously stated, the album cover features Elden as a baby, naked swimming toward a $1 bill on a fishing line.
According to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court’s central district of California, “Defendants reproduced child pornography depicting Spencer knowing and intending that it would be distributed internationally and that they would receive value from such widespread worldwide distribution.”
It continued, “Despite this knowledge, Defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
NOT SPENCER ELDEN!
Variety reports Elden is seeking $150,000.00 from each of the named defendants. There are 17 of them including record executives, Nirvana band members: Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love, the former wife of former Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, photographer Kirk Weddle and more.
Per the outlet’s report, 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.
Elden’s lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, thinks differently. He claims it makes Elden’s infant image appear “like a sex worker.”
Here’s the funny thing though, Elden has repeatedly recreated the album cover as both a teenager and an adult. He did this on the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries.
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He also claims he was never compensated for the photo beyond the $200.00 he made on the day of the shoot, and his parents reportedly never signed paperwork allowing usage of the photo.
The lawsuit states, “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.”
This could be the loophole Elden needs to get his BIG payday.