August 25, 2021, 10:55 am | Updated: August 25, 2021, 1:27 PM
Spencer Elden, who featured on the album cover when he was just four months old, claims he was sexually exploited because he was unable to consent to the photo.
The baby that was on Nirvana It does not matter the album cover pursues the band.
Like BBC reports, Spencer Elden — who was just four months old when the iconic cover photo was taken — has launched a federal lawsuit against grunge rockers and those involved in making the artwork for exploitation.
According to the outlet, Elden claims in the lawsuit that the band promised to cover his genitals with a sticker and that the image constitutes child pornography.
“The images exposed Spencer’s private body part and lasciviously displayed Spencer’s genitals from childhood to the present day,” said legal documents filed in California.
Elden, who is now 30, says the band – made up of Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and the late leader kurt cobain – failed to protect him from sexual exploitation.
He adds that his nude image appearing on an album caused him lifelong damage.
Elden is said to have sought $150,000 (£109,000) in damages from each of the 15 defendants, which include surviving band members, photographer Kirk Weddle and manager of Kurt Cobain’s estate; Courtney Love.
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One of the most famous cover stars of all time, baby Spencer was captured in the Pasadena swimming pool after Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl were inspired after watching a TV show about water births.
His father Rick was a friend of the photographer Kirk Weddle, who was preparing to shoot the album cover.
Elden told Buzzfeed in 2011: “He called my dad saying, ‘They’re paying me to take this photo of a baby underwater and I don’t have a baby.’ threw in the drink.
Spencer’s dad, Richard, was actually a lifeguard, so he knew what he was doing: “There’s stuff to do,” he told CNN in 2008
“You blow into the child’s face and it creates a gag reflex. Infants have a gag reflex, just like all of us. You hold it very close to your face. You blow into it very hard. They gasp, and in the water they go.”
Photographer Weddle took 18 images and Spencer’s parents were paid $200 at the time. Spencer recalls, “A few months later, they were driving down the road and they were like, ‘Hey, look! There’s my baby on a billboard!'”
Elden didn’t always have completely negative feelings about filming and once recreated the cover at the age of 17 and 25, where he sported the very Cobain long hair typical of the grunge era.
Nevermind has since been certified diamond disc in the US (over 10 million copies sold) and five times platinum in the UK.