Nirvana Sued For Sexually Exploiting Naked Baby On 1991 "Nevermind" Cover: Report

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Spencer Elden claims he’s the baby in the album’s artwork and accuses the group of peddling child pornography.

Another set of musicians are facing a lawsuit that we can almost guarantee they did not see coming. From 1987 to 1994, Nirvana created and shifted how the world viewed grunge rock. The Seattle-centered band would go three studio albums, all acclaimed in their own rights, including 1991’s Nevermind. The album peaked at the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 chart and included singles like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “In Bloom,” “Come As You Are,” and “Lithium.”

It’s a record that is not only remembered for its diverse musicality but its artwork that featured a naked baby in a pool swimming after a dollar bill on a fishing hook. Thirty years later, that baby is a man, and he is taking Nirvana to court over the image.

Spencer Elden has filed a lawsuit against the band, claiming that he is the four-month-old baby featured on the Nevermind cover. He alleges that he, obviously, didn’t consent to his image being used but he also argues that his legal guardians didn’t either. However, TMZ reports that Elden claims in court documents that the band made a promise that they would cover his genitals on the cover but that did not happen. 

He accuses Nirvana of “[failing] to protect and prevent him from being sexually exploited” and claims that he has endured “lifelong damages” as a result. Elden, in his lawsuit, calls the image child pornography and wants the band and Kurt Cobain’s estate to pay him at least $150K in damages each.

Nirvana disbanded following the death of leading singer Kurt Cobain in 1994.