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Nirvana’s famous naked baby begs record label to ‘redact image of his genitalia’

Spencer Elden, the now-grown naked baby on the cover of Nirvana’s famous album Nevermind is asking the band’s record label to redact the image of his genitalia from future album releases.

On the 30th anniversary of Nevermind’s release, Elden’s attorney Maggie Mabie want Universal Records to ‘end this child exploitation and violation of privacy’, according to TMZ on Friday.

This comes weeks after Elden, 30, filed a $2.5million dollar lawsuit accusing Nirvana and the estate of Kurt Cobain of trafficking his image as a naked baby and demanded damages for being ‘exploited as a minor’.

Speaking out: Spencer Elden, the now-grown naked baby on the cover of Nirvana’s famous album Nevermind is asking the band’s record label to redact the image of his genitalia from future album releases.

Elden’s lawyer told TMZ that Elden faces ‘renewed, unwanted attention from the media and fans’ annually on the anniversary of Nevermind’s September 24, 1991 release. 

Mabie said her client ‘fears he’ll be subjected to public scorn and ridicule’ on the 30th anniversary and wants Universal to agree to stop using the photo of his genitalia in future album releases.

The cover of Nevermind shows Spencer, then four-months-old, nude and swimming underwater toward a dollar bill on a string. 

It is notable that on multiple anniversaries of the album, Elden actually got back in the pool and recreated the album cover to commemorate the iconic image.  

1991: On the 30th anniversary of Nevermind’s release, Elden’s attorney Maggie Mabie want Universal Records to ‘end this child exploitation and violation of privacy’, according to TMZ on Friday

Universal is reportedly planning on reissuing the album next month, according to TMZ, in digital, CD and vinyl formats.  

Earlier this month Elden filed a lawsuit against the band in Los Angeles federal court, accusing them of sexually exploiting him as a minor and claiming his parents never gave their release in writing for the photos, nor were they paid.

This is despite 2008 reports that photographer Kirk Weddle paid Elden’s father Rich $200 for 15 seconds of work to appear in the snap, according to NPR.   

Elden, from Los Angeles, said in the lawsuit that his ‘identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day.’

Sued: This comes weeks after Elden, 30, filed a $2.5million dollar lawsuit accusing Nirvana and the estate of Kurt Cobain of trafficking his image as a naked baby and demanded damages for being 'exploited as a minor' (L-R Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain)

Sued: This comes weeks after Elden, 30, filed a $2.5million dollar lawsuit accusing Nirvana and the estate of Kurt Cobain of trafficking his image as a naked baby and demanded damages for being ‘exploited as a minor’ (L-R Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain)

He alleged that band members, record companies and creative personnel had ‘trafficked’ his image for profit, according to court documents reviewed by CBSLA

In law, non-sexualized naked pictures of infants are not considered to be child pornography. 

Elden is asking for $150,000 from each of 17 defendants named in the suit, which include Cobain’s bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Cobain’s former wife Courtney Love, the executor of Cobain’s estate, and the estate’s managers Guy Oseary and Heather Parry. 

Others include photographer Kirk Weddle; art director Robert Fisher and a number of record companies that released of distributed Nevermind in the past three decades. 

Grown up: It is notable that on multiple anniversaries of the album, Elden actually got back in the pool and recreated the album cover to commemorate the iconic image (seen on the 25th anniversary)

Grown up: It is notable that on multiple anniversaries of the album, Elden actually got back in the pool and recreated the album cover to commemorate the iconic image (seen on the 25th anniversary)

Elden is also thought to be suing artwork photographer Kirk Weddle and designer Robert Fisher, and Nirvana’s drummer from 1988 to 1990, Chad Channing.  

He said that ‘defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect [him] and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.’ 

The image was snapped in 1990 at the Pasadena aquatic center when he was four months old. 

Elden’s legal team said in the suit that ‘to ensure the album cover would trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer, (photographer Kirk) Weddle activated Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater in poses highlighting and emphasizing Spencer’s exposed genitals.’

Anniversary: Universal is reportedly planning on reissuing the album next month, according to TMZ, in digital, CD and vinyl formats

Anniversary: Universal is reportedly planning on reissuing the album next month, according to TMZ, in digital, CD and vinyl formats

They added that ‘as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.’

According to court docs reviewed by TMZ, the band had promised that a sticker would be placed on the area of the baby’s genitals, but didn’t place it on the cover.  

Since appearing on the cover, Elden has repeatedly recreated the image as both a teenager and an adult – on the 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries of the album’s release

Nevermind famous ushered in the grunge era and sold more than 30 million albums for Geffen Records. 

Iconic: Nevermind famous ushered in the grunge era and sold more than 30 million albums for Geffen Records

Iconic: Nevermind famous ushered in the grunge era and sold more than 30 million albums for Geffen Records


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