Spencer Elden who was the baby featured on the Nirvana album cover for the iconic 1991 rock album ‘Nevermind’ is suing the band for sexual exploitation, following claims that he or his parents never gave permission to the band for the inclusion of the infamous photo as their album cover and that the photo breaks child pornography laws. The now 30-year-old Spencer Elden is now claiming damages of $150,000 (around £109,000) each from up to 15 defendants, including currently living band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and frontrunner Kurt Cobain‘s former wife Courtney Love as well as the photographer of the photo Kirk Weddle, with the legal documents stating the following:
the images exposed Spencer’s intimate body part and lasciviously displayed Spencer’s genitals from the time he was an infant to the present day.
The now-notorious album cover has been a staple of pop culture for many years and features a then 4-month-old Elden swimming underwater grasping for a dollar bill that is dangled in front of him, and although the man himself has recreated the album cover on many occasions (specifically to celebrate the albums 10th, 20th and 25th anniversaries), in legal documents, Spencer Elden has stated his disgust at the cover and how it has affected him long-term. He claims he “has suffered and will continue to suffer lifelong damages” and “extreme and permanent emotional distress” as well as “interference with his normal development and educational progress” and “medical and psychological treatment”. However, it must be noted in recreated versions of the album cover he has always been wearing swimming trunks.
Representatives from the band and their respective record labels are yet to respond to allegations and the lawsuit, but as the album is coming up to its 30th anniversary since its release and has recently passed 30 million sales, it will be interesting to see how this story develops and make sure to keep checking out We Rave You for all the future updates.
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