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Nirvana Baby Refiles Album Cover Lawsuit Under Child Porn Laws

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Nirvana Baby Refiles Album Cover Lawsuit Under Child Porn Laws

The man pictured as a baby on the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind album has refiled his lawsuit under child porn laws, according to documents obtained by Deadline.

A photo of Spencer Elden naked in a pool as a baby was used as the cover for the classic album, but the 30-year-old has claimed to have suffered 'lifelong damages' as a result.

Elden has refiled his lawsuit under child porn laws. Credit: Splash News
Elden has refiled his lawsuit under child porn laws. Credit: Splash News

According to the lawsuit, Elden claims the defendants 'knowingly produced, possessed and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so… Despite this knowledge, defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking'.

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The lawsuit was dismissed earlier this month due to a missed deadline but was refiled at Los Angeles federal court yesterday (Wednesday 12 January).

The suit alleges that his parents never signed a release authorising the use of the photo and he is seeking $150,000 (£109,000) from each of the 17 defendants, or unspecified damages to be determined.

"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," Elden's suit alleges.

The accusations have been rubbished by lawyers acting on behalf of the separated band and the estate of frontman Kurt Cobain.

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They argued that he has 'spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed Nirvana Baby'.

A motion to dismiss stated: "He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title…tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-coloured onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women."

Nevermind turned 30 last year. Credit: Alamy
Nevermind turned 30 last year. Credit: Alamy

California-born Elden wound up on the cover of the album after photographer Kirk Weddle convinced his dad with the promise of an easy buck.

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During an interview with NPR in 2008, Rick Elden explained how Weddle offered him $200 (£147) to come to a party and toss his baby into the pool for a shoot, with the whole thing lasting just a few seconds.

He recalled: "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!"

Elden seemed to embrace his inclusion on the 1991 album in the past, however, over recent years, he's seemingly grown tired of the association.

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In a 2016 interview with GQ Australia, he said: "Recently I've been thinking, 'What if I wasn't OK with my freaking penis being shown to everybody?' I didn't really have a choice."

Featured Image Credit: Splash News

Topics: Music, World News

Jake Massey
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