Nude baby on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album cover grows up and sues band for child pornography

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Members of the legendary rock band Nirvana are facing a stunning lawsuit that essentially accuses them of being child pornographers.

At issue is the nude baby boy featured on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album, “Nevermind.”

The lawsuit was in fact filed by the baby — or, rather, the 30-year-old man whom the baby grew up to be.

Los Angeles resident Spencer Elden claims in the suit that his “identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor” during the production of an album “which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day.”

View the album cover below, but be aware that it clearly shows Elden’s penis.

(*Graphic content):

The suit was filed in a Los Angeles federal court on Tuesday against several defendants, including Nirvana LLC, its members, the estate of deceased lead singer Kurt Cobain, photographer Kirk Weddle, etc.

The suit accuses the defendants of having “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer” and having “knowingly received value in exchange for doing so.”

In other words, it accuses them all of essentially being child pornographers.

View the suit below:

Elden v. Nirvana L.L.C. et al by Pitchfork News

“Despite this knowledge, defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking,” the suit continues.

They also reportedly never obtained his parents’ written permission and never even compensated him personally (it’s not clear how one would compensate a literal baby).

“Elden’s parents never signed a release authorizing the use of the photos taken of the four-month-old baby in a Pasadena aquatic center in 1990 and Elden received no compensation, lawyers for the plaintiff allege,” according to Deadline.

But it gets worse.

“To ensure the album cover would trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer, (photographer Kirk) Weddle activated Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater in poses highlighting and emphasizing Spencer’s exposed genitals,” the suit claims.

It was all part of a marketing plan “to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews,” the suit continues.

The result is that Elden has allegedly “suffered and will continue to suffer lifelong damages” that the suit claims could be rectified with a payment of $150,000 from each of the defendants.

While the allegations against Nirvana may sound convincing, there’s a glaring hole in them: Namely that Elden has been celebrating his depiction on the album cover for years.

Five years ago, he even eagerly participated in a recreation of the cover.

“The naked swimming baby from the cover of the groundbreaking Nirvana album ‘Nevermind’ re-enacted the image for the record’s 25th anniversary — this time wearing clothes,” the New York Post reported in 2016.

He even admitted to the Post that he’d wanted to do the re-enactment nude!

“I said to the photographer, ‘Let’s do it naked.’ But he thought that would be weird, so I wore my swim shorts,” he told the outlet.

And then during a separate interview with GQ Australia also in 2016, he sounded resentful over not being paid for the picture.

“Everyone thinks you’re making money from it. You’ll hook up with a hot chick, and then they figure out you’re not making any money from it and they’ll dump you,”  he said.

But there’s more.

Elden’s dad, Rick, told NPR in a 2008 interview that he’d been paid for the photoshoot by Weddle, who it turns out was a family friend.

“[He] calls us up and was like, ‘Hey Rick, wanna make 200 bucks and throw your kid in the drink? I was like, ‘What’s up?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m shooting kids all this week, why don’t you meet me at the Rose Bowl, throw your kid in the drink?’ And we just had a big party at the pool, and no one had any idea what was going on!” he said.

For these reasons and more, many in the public suspect that Elden’s lawsuit is nothing but a desperate money grab.

Look:

Vivek Saxena

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