Spencer Elden, the man on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album cover, went on to file a lawsuit on Tuesday against the band. He alleged that the nude image of the baby on the album constitutes child pornography. The cover illustrates Elden underwater in a swimming pool as an infant with exposed genitalia- where the image has been understood as a stand against capitalism.
The image includes the digital imprint of a dollar bill found on a fishhook that the baby looks to be swimming towards. As it stands, non-sexualized nude photos of children are usually not thought of as child pornography legally.
Nirvana Involved In ‘Child Pornography’?
Spencer Elden’s lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, has provided a far unusual interpretation of Nirvana’s image which argues that the line simply crosses into the foray of child pornography- further stating that the inclusion of the dollar bill in the shot actually makes the baby look like a sex worker.
The lawsuit claims that defendants have intentionally marketed Spencer Elden’s child pornography while leveraging the shocking nature of this image for their promotion and the promotion of their music. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S District Court’s central district of California- which was further obtained by Vanity.
The subject of the cover art, who is 30, has asked each of the defendants- the members of the band Nirvana- to pay $150,000 as compensation. The members include Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love, the executor of the estate of Kurt Cobain, Guy Oseary, and Heather Parry, the manager of the estate of Cobain. It also includes quite a number of defunct or existing record companies that released the album over the last 30 years.
Interestingly, Chad Channing, the original drummer of Nirvana, has also been named as one of the defendants who were part of the group before being replaced by Dave Grohl.