Baby on Nirvana's Nevermind album cover SUES band over child pornography

Updated on Aug 26, 2021 02:17 PM IST  |  52.6K
   
Spencer Elden is seeking at least USD 150,000 from each of the defendants
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The baby on Nirvana's Nevermind album cover has grown up and is suing the band for alleged child pornography. Spencer Elden claims to be the naked infant famously seen in a swimming pool on Nirvana's 1991 album cover and says that his guardians did not agree to the image being used, which he believes violates federal child pornography statutes.

According to Variety, Elden is shown on the record cover as a baby, swimming in a swimming pool, with his genitalia exposed. The picture has usually been interpreted as a critique of capitalism since it contains the digital imposition of a dollar bill on a fishhook toward which the infant seems to be swimming excitedly. However, legally, non-sexualized nude pictures of babies are not deemed child pornography. Nonetheless, Elden's lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, provides an unorthodox interpretation of the picture to claim that it crosses the boundary into child porn, saying that the infant seems "like a sex worker" because of the presence of money in the shot.

“Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense,” reads the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s central district of California and obtained by Variety. “Defendants used child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.”

Meanwhile, the subject of the cover art, who is now 30 years old, is seeking at least USD 150,000 from each of the defendants, who include surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; Courtney Love, the executor of Kurt Cobain's estate; Guy Oseary and Heather Parry, Cobain's estate managers; photographer Kirk Weddle and art director Robert Fisher. However, many people are surprised by the lawsuit since Elden had previously recreated the record cover picture as an adult and had the title of the album tattooed on his chest.

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