Content warning: This article about Nirvana discusses child sexual exploitation.

Spencer Elden, the baby who appeared on the cover of Nirvana’s seminal 1991 album Nevermind, is suing the surviving members of the band and the estate of Kurt Cobain. 

Elden claims child exploitation, arguing that Nirvana violated federal child pornography statutes. In federal lawsuit documents obtained by TMZ, Elden states that he could not consent to his image being used on the Nevermind cover as he was only 4-months-old. He also claims that his legal guardians did not sign a release authorizing the “use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness, and certainly not of commercial child pornography depicting him.”

The suit alleges that Elden has suffered “lifelong damages” because of the album cover. He is seeking damages and a trial by jury.

“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 lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also names photographer Kirk Weddle, a friend of Elden’s father Rick. In an interview with NPR back in 2008, Rick detailed how Spencer ended up on the album cover.

.“[Weddle] 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!”

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