30 Years Later, Iconic Naked Baby in Nirvana Album Cover Sues Band for ‘Child Exploitation’

When it comes to iconic album covers, Nirvana’s 1991 “Nevermind” album is pretty high up the list in terms of recognition. When we think of Nirvana, we’ll always be reminded of the naked baby swimming in a pool reaching for a dollar bill attached to a fish hook.

Who would have known that, 30 years later, that baby will decide to file a lawsuit for that exact image?

baby nirvana nevermind albumNirvana’s “Nevermind” album cover

Spencer Elden has sued the remaining living members of Nirvana for the lifelong damages he’s suffered for appearing on that album cover, alleging it was considered child sexual exploitation.

“Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit also claimed that lead singer Kurt Cobain, who died in 1994, originally agreed to put a sticker over Elden’s private parts to censor them. The album was then released without the sticker.

Elden is now demanding US$150,000 in compensation from each of the defendants: Universal Music Group, photographer Kirk Weddle, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and Cobain’s widow Courtney Love.

It seems that Elden has always been conflicted about having his photograph become such an iconic piece of music history mainly because of how Nirvana had profited off of it while he got nothing. In an interview with The Guardian back in 2019, photographer Weddle said, “I used to think, ‘Man, when that kid is 16 he’s gonna hate my guts!’ He doesn’t, but he’s conflicted about the picture. He feels that everybody made money off it and he didn’t. I think he deserves something. But it’s always the record labels that make the money.”

None of the parties being sued have issued a response as of writing.

(ALSO READ: Enchong Dee and Joshua Garcia Team Up to Open a School of Rock)

Are you a fan of Nirvana? Share them in the comments below.

Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at story.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad! Get the latest news about the Philippine Entertainment industry and join the WIM Showbiz Facebook group! We also share our stories on Viber, join us!