Spencer Elden, who as a child appeared on the famous album cover Nevermind (1991) of Nirvana, has denounced the former members and heirs of the group and accuses them of child pornography.
“The defendants promoted Spencer’s child pornography intentionally and commercially and made use of the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at Spencer’s expense,” says the complaint filed in a Californian court and that was picked up by American media.
The lawsuit also contends that the defendants benefited and continue to benefit from Elden’s “commercialization of sexual exploitation.” Among those identified by this complaint are Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who together with the legendary and late Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) made up the classic Nirvana line-up.
The lawsuit also targets Kirk Weddle, who was the cover photographer for Nevermind and Courtney Love as heir to the Cobain estate. Strangely, the complaint also accuses Chad Channing, who was a drummer for Nirvana in its early years and who left the band in 1990, that is, before it was released. Nevermind.
Elden is seeking compensation for, according to the lawsuit, “damages he has suffered and will continue to suffer for life.” The cover of Nevermind It is considered one of the most iconic in rock history and shows a baby diving in a pool and hunting for a dollar bill.
As a teenager and as an adult, Elden has stepped back into the pool to recreate that cover multiple times. That was what he did, for example, in 2016 when the album’s quarter century was completed. On other occasions, he has shown to the press his disgust for being linked to that image.
Depression, rage, and heartbreak blew the charts thanks to Nirvana’s desperate cry on Nevermind, an album that, with its tormented and wounded rock, brought the grunge style to the height of its revolution.
Led by an atheist martyr and swept away by the hurricane of Smells Like Teen Spirit, perhaps the most important and influential rock song of the 90s, Nirvana flew very high with Nevermind, but its success also led its singer Kurt Cobain into a maze of self-destruction from which he would not emerge alive.