Baby From Nirvana Album Cover Sues 30 Years Later

Baby From Nirvana Album Cover Sues 30 Years Later

(TargetLiberty.org) – A 30-year-old man is suing alt-rock legends Nirvana over a 1991 photo of him, as a naked baby, used on the cover of the band’s breakthrough album. Spencer Elden says the image has ruined his life, and he wants the band to pay.

On August 24, Elden, who featured in the iconic swimming baby photo on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind, filed a lawsuit against surviving members of the band and the estate of lead singer Kurt Cobain. Elden alleged that he was exploited and harmed by the image. He was four months old at the time, and was volunteered for the photoshoot by his father, who knew the photographer.

Now, he says the band violated federal child pornography laws by displaying his nude image, and claims it’s led to “lifelong damages.” According to Elden, he’s suffered “extreme and permanent emotional distress” as well as loss of earnings, expenses for psychiatric treatment and “loss of enjoyment of life.” He also says his guardians never signed a release allowing his image to be used. He wants damages from each defendant and an injunction to stop the band from engaging in the “unlawful acts” described in the lawsuit.

In 2006 and 2016, Elden took part in re-enactments of the photo for the album’s 15th and 25th anniversaries. In 2016, he described it as “cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don’t even remember.” In a later interview, however, he said he’d been thinking about the fact that he “didn’t really have a choice.”

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