Spencer Elden, the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album, has refiled a lawsuit against the band. Initially, he was trying to get monetary compensation due to “sex trafficking” and child pornography. This time he’s suing again, but with the sex trafficking claim dropped.
“intentionally commercially marketed the child pornography depicting Spencer and leveraged the lascivious nature of his image to promote the Nevermind album, the band, and Nirvana’s music, while earning, at a minimum, tens of millions of dollars in the aggregate.”Court Documentation
The surviving members of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain‘s estate officially responded. Their take was that Spencer has been making money from the cover of “Nevermind” for most of his adult life. Posing for pictures for magazines, and using it for clout whenever he could. So how serious could he be about filing this years after the statute of limitations was over. (Also, Elden literally has the word “NEVERMIND” tattooed across his chest. So, make of that what you will.)
With the new amendment, Elden is seeking monetary compensation, as well the image on all future releases of the album being replaced by something else.
I suspect he’s wanting them to buy him out for the use of the image going forward. I also suspect that he’s trying to annoy them into an agreement. After a while this gets expensive and he’s probably hoping they’ll settle for some sum of money.
Honestly at this point the cover has nothing to do with how well the album is selling. It may be an iconic image, but a picture of the band would do just as well.