‘Nirvana baby’ Spencer Elden doesn’t want his naked picture on the 30th anniversary reissue of Nevermind

Elden sued Kurt Cobain’s estate for child sexual exploitation in August, claiming he will suffer ‘lifelong damages’ as a result of the album cover

Maanya Sachdeva
Friday 24 September 2021 14:06
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'Nevermind' baby sues Nirvana for sexual exploitation

The man photographed as a child for Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover doesn’t want his naked picture on the 30th anniversary reissue of the iconic 1991 record.

Spencer Elden, who appeared on the cover as a naked baby in a swimming pool, sued Kurt Cobain’s estate for child pornography and sexual exploitation on 24 August.

The image in question shows Elden inside a swimming pool, with his penis exposed, reaching for a dollar bill attached to a hook.

TMZ reported that Elden’s lawyer, Maggie Mabie, is now pressing for Universal to redact the controversial photograph from all future album covers, including any planned reissues.

This comes a day after Geffen Records and Universal Music announced they would be reissuing Nevermind to celebrate 30 years since it was released on 24 September, 1991.

Geffen released Nevermind three decades ago and sold over 30 million copies globally.

These new editions will be available later this year, beginning 12 November.

Mabie told TMZ it’s time to end “this child exploitation and violation of privacy”, adding that her 30-year-old client has to brace for unwanted attention every year during the anniversary of the album’s release.

Elden’s lawsuit against Nirvana stated that his photograph on the album cover constituted child pornography.

Further, Elden alleged that neither he nor his legal guardians authorised the release of “any images of Spencer or of his likeness”.

In the court filing, Elden claimed “his 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”.

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Dubbed the “Nirvana baby”, Elden also said the defendants “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so”.

Despite that, they did not take any “reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking”.

Elden also alleged in court documents that the photographer Kirk Weddle “activated Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater” to “trigger a visceral sexual response”.

Consequently, Elden “has suffered and will continue to suffer lifelong damages”, the filing stated.

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