Experts weigh in on Nirvana's 'Nevermind' album cover lawsuit: 'Dead on arrival'
Sep 29, 2021
Nirvana bassist on Nirvana’s influence and prank calls with Kurt Cobain
Nirvana bassist on Kurt Cobain
For an album as iconic as Nirvana's "Nevermind," celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release is a special milestone. For this record in particular, however, a lawsuit is looming over the occasion.
Last month, Spencer Elden – who was featured in the nude on the album's cover as an infant – filed a lawsuit against Nirvana musicians Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as the estate of Kurt Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love claiming that they sexually exploited him when they profited from his naked image.
He's also alleged that the image – which features him naked in a swimming pool – is child pornography. Fifteen people are named in the suit – including photographer Kirk Weddle – each of whom, he is asking for $150,000, per the New York Times.
Elden has claimed in the suit that he's suffered "permanent harm" due to his involvement with the album.
BABY FROM COVER OF NIRVANA'S 'NEVERMIND' SUES BAND CLAIMING IMAGE WAS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
The case is made even more complicated by disputed facts. In the suit, Elden claims that neither he nor his parents ever consented to the naked photoshoot, but over the years, various outlets have reported that Elden's parents did consent and were paid $250 for the modeling session.
The announcement of the lawsuit raised many eyebrows both in and out of the music industry, with many raising questions as to why the suit was filed in the first place – especially considering Elden had participated in recreations of the iconic photograph several times to celebrate various other anniversaries of the album's release.