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Nirvana Album Cover

Naked Baby on Nirvana’s Famous ‘Nevermind’ Album Sues for Child Pornography, Sexual Exploitation

A 30-year-old California man who graced the cover of grunge band Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album has filed a lawsuit against the late Kurt Cobain’s estate, as well as the rest of the band members and others involved in the album’s artwork.

Pitchfork reports that Spencer Eldon alleges that his photo was taken without his consent in 1991, while he was a 4-month-old infant and had no way to consent to it. The photo, which shows Eldon as a naked baby underwater in a pool,  has reportedly caused the plaintiff “extreme and permanent emotional distress.”

Eldon filed the lawsuit Tuesday at a California federal court.

The lawsuit, which also named photographer Kirk Weddle and the labels that released the album as defendants, claims that the defendants violated federal child pornography statutes, sexually exploited him, and made him “engage in commercial sexual acts while under the age of 18 years old.”

The lawsuit also states that Eldon’s parents never signed a release to allow “the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness, and certainly not of commercial child pornography depicting him.”

In a 2008 interview with NPR, Eldon’s father, Rick, said he was friends with Weddle, the photographer who took the famous photo. Weddle knew Rick had an infant son at the time and asked the dad if wanted to make some quick money.

“[He] calls us up and was like, ‘Hey Rick, wanna make 200 bucks and throw your kid in the drink?'” Rick said. “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!”

Grunge rockers Nirvana pose after receiving an award for best alternative video for “In Bloom” at the 10th annual MTV Video Music Awards Thursday, September 2, 1993 in Universal City, California. Members from left are, Chris Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and Kurt Cobain. Man at right is not a member of the band and is unidentified. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

In 2008, Eldon, who was still in high school at the time, seemed fine with the photo and reportedly told NPR that it was “cool.” He acknowledged that friends and many others had seen him naked on the album cover.

“Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis. So that’s kinda cool. I’m just a normal kid living it up and doing the best I can while I’m here.”

Eldon later got a “Nevermind” tattoo on his chest and recreated the album cover several times throughout the years. Then, in 2016, he began to feel uncomfortable about it, according to an interview he did with GQ Australia.

“It’s f***** up,” Elden said in 2016, adding that he has never gotten royalties for the photo. “I’m pissed off about it, to be honest.”

“I’ve been going through it my whole life. But 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.”

Along with damages, Elden is seeking a jury trial and an injunction to stop people “from continuing to engage in the unlawful acts and practices described herein.”

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Wikipedia; Geffen Records/Fair use under United States copyright law]