Spencer Elden, who was famously photographed as a baby for Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album cover, is suing the band for child sexual exploitation. The lawsuit comes just a month shy of the landmark album’s 30th anniversary.
One of the most famous album covers of all time, Nevermind depicts a then four-month-old Elden swimming naked underwater as he reaches for a dollar bill. As the story goes, Elden was the son of a friend of album photographer Kurt Weddle. Nirvana’s label, Geffen, initially objected to Elden’s penis being visible, but Kurt Cobain insisted it not be censored. The Nirvana frontman at one point said his only compromise would be a strategically placed sticker that read, “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.”
According to TMZ, Elden has now filed a lawsuit against Cobain’s estate and the surviving members of Nirvana, claiming that his legal guardians didn’t formally consent to his image being used on the album cover. He further claims that the image is child pornography and that an agreement to place a sticker over his private parts was never carried out.