Spencer Elden, the now 30-year-old man who was photographed as a baby on the cover of Nirvana 1991 album “Nevermind” has filed a suit against the band and its record company.
Spencer alleges that the band violated federal criminal child exploitation laws and caused him to suffer lifelong damages. In his words, “his identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day.”
According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court on Tuesday, 24 August 2021, the defendants, which include the former members of the grunge-rock trio, various record companies, art directors and others, “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child p_____y depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so… Despite this knowledge, defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
Elden’s lawyers also alleged that his parents weren’t compensated for using their four-month-old baby’s photo.
In 2008, Rick Elden, Spencer’s father, told NPR in an interview that his friend Weddle reportedly called him up and asked if he wanted to make 200 bucks.
“He calls us up and was like, ‘Hey Rick, wanna make 200 bucks and throw your kid in the drink?’
“I was like, ‘What’s up?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m shooting kids all this week, why don’t you meet me at the Rose Bowl, throw your kid in the drink?’ And we just had a big party at the pool, and no one had any idea what was going on!” Rick Elden said.
Spencer’s parents went home with $200 after the shoot that reportedly lasted just 15 seconds.
The “Nevermind” album includes songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come as You Are”, and it sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
The suit continued to allege that the defendants “used child p_____y depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.”
Spencer Elden seeks either $150,000 from each of the 17 defendants or unspecified damages to be determined at trial. What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.
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