Naked Nirvana Album Baby Sues Band, Alleges Child Pornography

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The naked baby, Spencer Elden, from Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover is all grown up and he is suing band members, Kurt Cobain’s estate and anyone else he can find associated with the cover over what Elden is now calling child pornography. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Elden’s team of lawyers say the album “marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.”

Elden’s parents were paid $200 for the photo back in 1991, and one could conclude that this is Spencer Elden screaming out that he’d like a little more money for the iconic album cover work that he put in 30 years ago. The story goes that Spencer’s father, Rick, was friends with the album photographer Kirk Weddle, who called Rick one day and asked him to bring his kid to a photoshoot. In 2008, Rick Elden told NPR that three months later he drove by Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. and there was his son on the album.

In 2016, Spencer recreated the pose and told the New York Post what the then-25th anniversary meant to him: “It’s strange that I did this for five minutes when I was 4 months old and it became this really iconic image. …. It’s cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don’t even remember.” Elden was paid $200 more to recreate the 1991 pose. He’d also recreated the pose 10 years prior on the 15th anniversary of the album’s release.

Nirvana naked baby lawsuit album cover

Now he’s suing everyone involved and saying Nirvana was trafficking child pornography.

The lawsuit continues:

“Weddle took a series of sexually graphic nude photographs of Spencer. To ensure the album cover would trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer, Weddle activated Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater in poses highlighting and emphasizing Spencer’s exposed genitals. Fisher purchased fishhooks from a bait and tackle shop to add to the scene. At least one or more film cartridges were exposed in a short period of time which included at least 40 or 50 different image shots of Spencer. Cobain chose the image depicting Spencer — like a sex worker — grabbing for a dollar bill that is positioned dangling from a fishhook in front of his nude body with his penis explicitly displayed.”

Spencer Elden is seeking $150,000 from several defendants named in the lawsuit including Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Courtney Love.


Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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