Nirvana are about to release a 30th anniversary edition of their classic album ‘Nevermind’, however Spencer Elden – who posed as the swimming naked baby on the cover – wants his image censored on the reissue.
Elden, now 30, is currently suing the band’s surviving members and Kurt Cobain’s estate, among other individuals and entities. The lawsuit alleges that the use of Elden’s image on the album art, taken when he was a few months-old baby, amounted to “commercial child sexual exploitation”.
It goes on to allege that the band and other defendants “violated” federal child pornography statutes by using the image, and that Elden sustained “injuries” and “lifelong damages” as a result of the album cover and the record’s global success and fame.
“Neither Spencer nor his legal guardians ever signed a release authorising the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness,” the filing claims, “and certainly not of commercial child pornography depicting him.”
Elden also wants the album art altered for any future re-releases, according to his lawyer Maggie Mabie. “If there is a 30th anniversary re-release, he wants for the entire world not to see his genitals,” lawyer Maggie Mabie told The Associated Press.
Since the lawsuit was filed, a deluxe 30th anniversary reissue of ‘Nevermind’ has been officially announced and is set to be released on November 12. Pre-orders for the various deluxe edition are currently available on Nirvana’s website with Elden’s image uncensored.
According to TMZ, Elden’s lawyer, Mabie, is demanding Universal Music censor the image of Elden’s penis from the cover of the 30th anniversary reissue, requesting that the label “end this child exploitation and violation of privacy.”
TMZ reports that Elden’s lawyer, Maggie Mabie, is “demanding Universal redact the image of Elden’s genitalia” from the 30th anniversary reissue, requesting that the label “end this child exploitation and violation of privacy.”
“Nirvana were just three normal guys from a rainy and miserable part of the world who were expressing themselves in a really primal way,” Neil told NME. “‘Nevermind’ gave our band permission to exist.”