A man by the name of Spencer Elden, who appeared on the album cover for Nirvana’s Nevermind is suing the band on account of alleged sexual exploitation.
The album cover shows a four month old Elden in a swimming and is trying to grasp the money that is in connected to a fishing rod.
The cover depicts Elden as a four-month-old in a swimming pool, grasping for a dollar bill that’s being dangled in front of him on a fishing line. Spencer is of the view that his parents never authorised the use of the image for the album.
“The images exposed Spencer’s intimate body part and lasciviously displayed Spencer’s genitals from the time he was an infant to the present day,” legal papers filed in California claim.
Non-sexualised photos of infants are generally not considered child pornography under US law.
However, Elden’s lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, argues that the inclusion of the dollar bill depicts it as a sexual predator
The legal case also alleges that Nirvana had promised to cover Elden’s genitals with a sticker, but the agreement was not upheld.
Elden alleges 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”.
He claims he “has suffered and will continue to suffer lifelong damages” as a result of the artwork, including “extreme and permanent emotional distress” as well as “interference with his normal development and educational progress” and “medical and psychological treatment”.
He is asking for damages of at least $150,000 (£109,000) from each of the 15 defendants, who include surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; the managers of Kurt Cobain’s estate; Cobain’s former wife Courtney Love; and photographer Kirk Weddle.
Representatives for Nirvana and their record labels have yet to respond to the claims.
Elden alleges 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”