The Nevermind Baby Sues Nirvana, Calling The Album Cover Child Pornography
For many years now, a man named Spencer Elden has been saying he was the baby featured on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind reaching for a dollar in a swimming pool. Often, he has seemed to celebrate that status, even re-creating the image at various points in his life. However, his perspective on this claim to fame started to shift around the time of his most recent photo reenactment in 2016, when the album (and Elden) turned 25 years old. “It’s fucked up. I’m pissed off about it, to be honest,” Elden said in an interview with the Australian version of GQ at the time. “Recently 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.”
As TMZ reports, Elden is suing Nirvana, its individual surviving members, Kurt Cobain’s estate, photographer Kirk Weddle, and the labels involved in releasing the album, alleging that the Nevermind cover is child pornography. According to Elden’s lawsuit, neither his legal guardians nor he (obviously, as he was four months old at the time) consented to his naked genitalia appearing on the Nevermind cover. He alleges that the band promised to cover his genitals with a sticker, which was never incorporated into the album art, and that Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl failed to protect him from being sexually exploited. The lawsuit alleges that the dollar bill on the cover made the baby resemble “a sex worker.” Elden is hoping to receive $150,000 from each party named in the lawsuit.
Elden’s suit arrives months after Nirvana were sued for allegedly reprinting someone else’s artwork without permission on various merch items. Nirvana themselves sued fashion designer Marc Jacobs in 2018 for allegedly ripping off their smiley face logo.