The baby whose photo was used on Nirvana’s 1991 album titled Nevermind has sued the band for child exploitation.
The image of the then-newborn baby in a pool with a dollar bill in front of him is widely viewed as a strong statement on capitalism.
Spencer Elden, aged 30, has filed legal action against the band’s surviving members and the late Kurt Cobain’s estate, the LAD bible reported.
The lawsuit reads:
“The permanent harm he has proximately suffered includes but is not limited to extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations, interference with his normal development and educational progress, lifelong loss of income earning capacity, loss of past and future wages, past and future expenses for medical and psychological treatment, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses to be described and proven at trial of this matter.”
According to TMZ and Pitchfork, the lawsuit states that Elden has suffered ‘lifelong damages’, with the defendants having ‘knowingly benefitted from their participation’ in his commercial exploitation.
Moreover, the lawsuit states that neither he nor his legal guardians ever signed a release to authorize ‘the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness’.
He is now officially suing Nirvana for the distribution of explicit materials and negligence.
Elden, from California, ended up on the cover of the Nevermind album after photographer Kirk Weddle convinced his father.
In a 2008 interview with NPR, Rick Elden explained how the photographer offered him $200 to come to a party and toss his newborn baby into the pool for a shoot.
“I was like, ‘What’s up?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m shooting kids all this week, why don’t you meet me at the Rose Bowl, throw your kid in the drink?” Rick recalled. “And we just had a big party at the pool, and no one had any idea what was going on!”
As for the 30-year-old Elden, it seemed like he embraced his involvement on the Nevermind album in the past. He even recreated the photo as an adult and had ‘Nevermind’ tattooed onto his chest.
However, Elden speaks out recently about how he’s grown tired of being associated with Nirvana.
“Recently I’ve been thinking, ‘What if I wasn’t OK with my freaking penis being shown to everybody?” Elden told GQ Australia in 2016. “I didn’t really have a choice.”
Elden told GQ that he had tried to get Nirvana and Weddle involved in an art project of his own, but had been referred to their lawyers and managers.
Elden also revealed that women would dump him when they knew that he wasn’t earning royalties from the album.
“You have these people who think you’re cool because you’re the Nirvana baby,” Elden said. “But it’s [redacted] weird, man. It’s like that dream where you go to school without your clothes on.”
Recommended Video For You!
Great Dane Not Allowed To Swim, Expresses His Displeasure