Spencer Elden claims he’s the naked lad in the swimming pool on that famous 1991 album cover, and he’s suing the rockers’ surviving members and Kurt Cobain’s estate for child sexual exploitation, TMZ reports.
Elden is said to be suing the band for violating federal child pornography statutes. He claims he never gave consent to the image, due to being just 4 months of age, nor did his legal guardians, according to TMZ, based on legal documents.
Elden also claims the grunge band promised to cover-up his genitals with a sticker, but it was never incorporated on the classic art.
Now, 30 years later, the famous photo has created a lifetime of troubles for Elden, the docs claims, and he allegedly wants at least $150,000 from each of the band members or, in Cobain’s case, the late singer’s estate.
He’s seeking damages, attorney fees, an injunction to prohibit all parties “from continuing to engage in the unlawful acts and practices described herein,” and a trial by jury, Pitchfork reports, based on its reporters’ own review of the documents. The lawsuit also names photographer Kirk Weddle and the labels behind its release.
“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 reads.
Reps for band members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and the Cobain haven’t commented on the suit.
Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind is considered a seminal work, and one laden with some of the standout songs of the grunge era, including “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are,” “In Bloom” and “Lithium.”
It was funded by $120,000 of Geffen money — almost twice its original budget, and more than 200 times Nirvana’s budget for Bleach, the trio’s less-polished debut released two years earlier on Seattle-based indie Sub Pop.
Nevermind went on to knock Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from No. 1 on the Billboard 200 dated Jan. 11, 1992, the album was entered into the National Recording Registry in 2004 and, ten years later, Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2014.