Nevermind album cover baby refiles lawsuit against Nirvana

Lawyers acting on behalf of Spencer Elden said members of the band had ‘leveraged the lascivious nature of his image’ to promote their famous album.
Nevermind album cover baby refiles lawsuit against Nirvana

By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

The man who featured as a naked baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 Nevermind album has refiled his lawsuit against the rock band.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Spencer Elden said members of the band had “leveraged the lascivious nature of his image” to promote their famous album.

Mr Elden was four months old when he was pictured in a pool at a swimming centre in Pasadena, California.

Now 30, he alleges that the picture, used by the group on their world famous album, constitutes child pornography as it shows his genitalia.

 

But the lawsuit previously filed by Mr Elden’s lawyers was dismissed by a US judge earlier this month.

Mr Elden was given until January 13 to pursue the case and file a second amended complaint.

Documents obtained by the PA news agency, filed on January 11, claimed Mr Elden would “continue to suffer damages as long as the violations described above persist”.

“During the ten years preceding the filing of this action, each Defendant intentionally commercially marketed the child pornography depicting Spencer and leveraged the lascivious nature of his image to promote the Nevermind album, the band, and Nirvana’s music, while earning, at a minimum, tens of millions of dollars in the aggregate,” the lawsuit said.

Graham Norton Show – London
Mr Elden filed his original lawsuit against members of the rock band including Dave Grohl (Matt Crossick/ PA)

In the original claim, filed in August 2021, lawyers alleged Nirvana “failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking”.

These allegations have now been dropped.

On the original album cover Mr Elden was shown naked underwater while appearing to be following a dollar bill being pulled along on a fish hook.

The image has become one of the most famous album covers of all time.

Mr Elden is attempting to sue the group, the photographer who took the picture, their record label and the individual members, including the estate of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, over the picture and its use.

The album Nevermind, powered by singles including Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are and Lithium, was a massive critical and commercial success, propelling the grunge band to global stardom.

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