Search icon


25th Aug 2021

Baby from Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover sues band for child pornography

Danny Jones

The now 30-year-old ‘Nevermind’ baby is suing them on child pornography charges and for “lifelong damages”

Nirvana‘s ‘Nevermind’: an iconic album for an iconic band – not to mention a striking albeit inappropriate album cover to go along with it. That being said, the ‘Nevermind’ baby himself is now suing the band and Kurt Cobain‘s estate, claiming that the artwork from 1991 is child pornography and “commercial sexual exploitation”.

Spencer Elden, who was a new-born when the photo was taken, claims they have inflicted “lifelong damages” in documents attained by a number of outlets.

The lawsuit – which mentions that his legal guardians never signed a release to authorise the use of any images of Elden – states that he is officially suing for distribution of private sexually explicit materials and negligence. It reads as follows:

“The permanent harm he has proximately suffered includes but is not limited to extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations, interference with his normal development and educational progress, lifelong loss of income earning capacity, loss of past and future wages, past and future expenses for medical and psychological treatment, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses to be described and proven at trial of this matter.”

The suit also accuses the band of a “sex trafficking venture”, claiming Elden, now 30, was forced “to engage in commercial sexual acts while under the age of 18 years old”. The story goes that the band’s photographer, Kirk Weddle, paid Spencer’s father $200 to take the picture at a pool party.

Elden hasn’t always felt this way about the artwork – he actually recreated the album cover on its 25-year anniversary; even in the caption of his this Instagram post he said “It’s cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don’t even remember.”

However, back in a 2016 interview with GQ Australia, he said: “Recently I’ve been thinking, ‘What if I wasn’t OK with my freaking penis being shown to everybody?’ I didn’t really have a choice.”

“You have these people who think you’re cool because you’re the Nirvana baby. But it’s f**king weird, man. It’s like that dream where you go to school without your clothes on.”

He also said that when he tried to get Nirvana and the Weddle involved in an art project of his own, he had been referred to their manager and lawyers. It is clear that whatever relationship he had with the band has now soured and having the photo as a major part of his life now feels very different.