Spencer Elden, better known as the baby who graces the cover of Nirvana’s landmark album Nevermind, is suing surviving band members for child sexual exploitation. The lawsuit comes a month before the album’s 30th anniversary.
One of the most iconic album covers in music history, the image shows a four-month-old Elden swimming naked underwater trying to reach a dollar bill.
TMZ now reports that Elden has filed a lawsuit against Kurt Cobain’s estate and the surviving members of Nirvana, claiming his legal guardians didn’t consent to his image being used on the album cover. He went on to label the image as child pornography.
Elden is suing for $150,000 for exploitation and lifelong damage as a result of the photo.
Elden seems to have mixed feelings on the experience. In 2016, he recreated the image for the album’s 25th anniversary (albeit wearing swimming trunks). During an interview with the New York Post that same year he said “The anniversary means something to me. It’s strange that I did this for five minutes when I was four months old and it became this really iconic image.”
Elden has also criticized the picture in the past saying “It’s one thing to do an album cover with me, it’s another to do 30 million albums and then pretend like you don’t know me. I never met these guys. It’s kinda frustrating to pass it off like I didn’t exist.”
The Cobain estate and surviving Nirvana members have yet to release a statement.