Spencer Elden, the child pictured on Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album, has just filed a complaint against the group for child pornography.
It is one of the most famous album covers in the world. And she continues to be talked about … Spencer Elden, the baby on the album “Nevermind”, from the group Nirvana, has just filed a complaint in a Los Angeles court. The reason ? For the 30-year-old, this photo looks like “Child pornography”. As a reminder, he is seen at the age of four months, completely naked, swimming underwater towards a dollar bill. When it came out in 1991, many viewed this scene as the denunciation of capitalism. But for his lawyer, the child is represented there as “A sex worker”.
In the complaint document obtained by the site Variety, the lawyer denounces a use “Child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential part of a record promotion program commonly used in the music industry to gain attention”. He adds that these covers which depicted children “Provocatively” were used for “Gain notoriety”. The young man and his lawyer are now claiming $ 150,000 from each member of the group still alive, but also from the managers of Kurt Cobain’s legacy, including his widow, Courtney Love. They also demand the same amount from the photographer at the time, the artistic director and the various record companies that designed the album.
Has Nirvana resorted to non-consented use of the image?
Spencer Elden clarifies that “His identity and name are forever linked to the sexual and commercial exploitation he suffered as a minor, and which has been sold all over the world”. And adds that his legal guardians “Have never signed a waiver authorizing the use of the images by Nirvana”.
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The young man had already tried to contact the relatives of the late singer to talk about his image rights. In an interview with Times in 2016, the one who had repeatedly recreated the cover for the album’s birthdays, explained to be “A little pissed off” not to have an answer from anyone.