CHICAGO — The man who was on the cover of a Nirvana album as a baby is now suing the band.
Spencer Elden, 30, was a baby when his naked photo was used on the cover of the iconic 1991 album “Nevermind.” In the photo, Elden is swimming toward a dollar bill in a swimming pool.
Elden is suing the band, the photographer and the estate of the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
The suit claims the photo violated child pornography laws and caused him lifelong damages.
“Defendants reproduced child pornography depicting Spencer knowing and intending that it would be distributed internationally and that they would receive value from such widespread worldwide distribution,” the lawsuit states. “Despite this knowledge, Defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
The lawsuit claims that the image crosses the line into child porn and makes the baby appear “like a sex worker.”
Elden is seeking $150,000 from each of the 17 named defendants, including record executives, Nirvana band members, and Courtney Love, the former wife of Cobain, according to Variety.
Elden has said he was never compensated for the photo beyond the $200 his parents received for it on the day of the shoot.
Elden has recreated the pose several times as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (wearing swim trunks) on the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries. Elden has also tattooed an image of the album on his chest.