Spencer Elden – the cover child of Nevermind – is suing Nirvana for sexual abuse, reports the BBC. In the cover of the album, four-month-old Elden is swimming naked in the pool and trying to grab a dollar bill from a fishing line. Now a 30-year-old man claims that his parents never signed a consent to use his image, which, in his opinion, is child pornography.
“Nevermind” is Nirvana’s cult album, which was released on September 24, 1991. A photo by Kirk Weddle with a four-month-old naked boy has gone down in the history of popular music.
Spencer Elden sues Nirvana’s team on alleged sexual abuse
“The photos showed Spencer’s private part and lasciviously showed Spencer’s genitals since he was a baby,” the BBC said in a California lawsuit.
According to the law in the US, non-sexual images of babies are not generally considered child pornography, the portal explains. However, Elden’s lawyer Robert Y. Lewis believes that the inclusion of a dollar bill that was applied after the photo was taken makes the minor appear to be a “prostitute.”
The lawsuit also said that Nirvana’s team had promised to cover Elden’s genitals with a sticker, but the deal was not honored, the BBC reports.
He adds that, according to Elden, “his real identity, name and surname are forever linked to the commercial sexual abuse he experienced as a minor.” The man emphasizes that he “will suffer and will suffer all his life”. He also talks about “extreme and lasting emotional suffering” and states that publishing his image “disrupted his normal development and educational progress” and contributed to “medical and psychological treatment”.
Elden is seeking damages of at least $ 150,000 from each of the 15 defendants, including still living team members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, manager of the Kurt Cobain estate, Cobain’s ex-wife Courtney Love, and photographer Kirk Weddle.
Representatives of Nirvana and their record company have yet to comment on this matter, the BBC reports.
Spencer Elden – recreating the cover of the album “Nevermind” by Nirvana
Elden several times played the album cover – He did it as a teenager and adult, always in swimming trunks, for the 10th, 20th and 25th anniversary of Nevermind.
In interviews, he happened to refer to the album cover. In 2016, he told Time magazine that his fame “annoyed him a bit” as he grew up. – I woke up already being part of this huge project. It’s quite difficult because you feel you have been famous for no reason, Elden quotes the BBC.
The man added that “it was hard not bad when you hear how much money is involved.” “When I go to a baseball game and I think everyone in the stadium has probably seen my little penis, I feel like some of my rights have been taken away from me,” he said.
The BBC points out that there have been interviews where he spoke in a different tone. – It was always a positive thing and it opened the door for me. I’m 23 now and an artist, and this story gave me the opportunity to work with Shepard Fairey for five years, which was an amazing experience. He is a great connoisseur of music: when he heard that I was “Nirvana baby” he thought it was really cool – he quotes Elden for “Guardian” on the BBC.
The genesis of the cover of the album “Nevermind”
In 2008, Spencer Elden’s father, Rick, told about a photo shoot with the American radio station NPR. He mentioned that Weddle, who was a family friend, offered him $ 200 to participate. “We had a big pool party and no one had any idea what was going on,” he quotes on the BBC.
The portal explains that the family quickly forgot about the photo shoot until three months later, she saw the cover of the album “Nervmind” on the wall of the Tower Records building in Los Angeles. Two months later, an NPR article said that “Geffen Records sent the year-old Spencer Elden the platinum album and teddy bear.”
The album “Nevermind”, which included the hits “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Come As You Are” and “Lithium”, sold 30 million copies worldwide.
Main photo source: Shutterstock