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The baby from the iconic cover of Nevermind is suing Nirvana for child sexual exploitation, according to reports.
Spencer Elden claims that he’s the naked baby that is famously pictured in a swimming pool on Nirvana’s 1991 album cover.
He’s now said to be suing the band and Kurt Cobain’s estate, 30 years later.
According to documents from a new federal lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Elden claims that he was unable to consent to his image being used as the album art because he was only four months old and that his legal guardians did not consent either.
Elden reportedly further claims that the image is in fact child pornography, according to the documents.
He added that the band had allegedly promised that they would cover his genitals with a sticker, but it was never added to the album cover.
In doing so, Elden claims the band members failed to protect and prevent him from being sexually exploited, and that having his naked body on the album has caused him to suffer lifelong damages.
According to TMZ, Elden is asking for the band, Kurt’s estate, and others for damages of at least $150,000.
He has previously recreated the iconic image three times, in 2001, 2008 and in 2016 for the 25th anniversary of the album.
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“I said to the photographer, ‘Let’s do it naked.’ But he thought that would be weird, so I wore my swim shorts,” Elden told The New York Post at the time.
The year before he told the Guardian, “Sooner or later, I want to create a print of a real-deal re-enactment shot, completely naked.”
He also told the Post: “The anniversary means something to me.
“It’s strange that I did this for five minutes when I was 4 months old and it became this really iconic image.
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“It’s cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don’t even remember.”
He even got NEVERMIND tattooed on his chest to help him remember.
But he has also said before that he was upset to not have received any compensation for the album, saying: “It’s hard not to get upset when you hear how much money was involved.”
“[When] I go to a baseball game and think about it: ‘Man, everybody at this baseball game has probably seen my little baby penis,’ I feel like I got part of my human rights revoked,” says Elden.
In 1991, photographer Kirk Weddle asked Elden’s parents if he could use the baby for a photoshoot for the then-unknown band, according to Time magazine.
The fish hook with the dollar bill was later digitally added to the image.
The shoot reportedly lasted 15 seconds and Elden’s parents made only $200, his dad told NPR in 2008.
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- Kurt Cobain
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