Spencer Elden is the man who appeared as a naked baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind. The album went on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Elden has said that he was paid only $200 for his appearance on the cover, and that he has never received any royalties from the album’s sales.
In 2021, Elden filed a lawsuit against Nirvana, alleging that the album cover constituted child pornography and that he had suffered emotional distress as a result. The lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in September 2022, but Elden has said that he plans to appeal the decision.
This article will take a look at what happened to Spencer Elden after he appeared on the Nevermind album cover. We will discuss his lawsuit against Nirvana, the dismissal of the lawsuit, and what the future holds for Elden.
The Nirvana Album Cover
The Nevermind album cover was shot by photographer Kirk Weddle in 1991. The photo shows a naked baby swimming underwater towards a dollar bill attached to a fishhook. The baby is Elden, who was four months old at the time.
The album cover was controversial from the start. Some people argued that it was child pornography, while others defended it as a work of art. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain said that he wanted the cover to be “shocking and controversial” and that he didn’t think it was child pornography.
The album cover has become one of the most iconic images in rock music history. It has been parodied and referenced countless times, and it is still instantly recognizable today.
Spencer Elden’s Lawsuit
In August 2021, Elden filed a lawsuit against Nirvana, alleging that the album cover constituted child pornography and that he had suffered emotional distress as a result. Elden claimed that he had been “forced to relive the trauma” of the photo every time he saw it, and that he had been “stigmatized” and “harassed” because of it.
Elden sought $150,000 in damages from each of the defendants, including Nirvana’s surviving members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; the estate of Kurt Cobain; and the photographer, Kirk Weddle.
The defendants argued that the lawsuit was frivolous and that the album cover was protected by the First Amendment. They also argued that Elden had waited too long to file the lawsuit, and that he had waived his right to sue by posing for the photo as a baby.
A judge dismissed the lawsuit in September 2022, ruling that Elden had waited too long to file the complaint. The judge also ruled that Elden had waived his right to sue by posing for the photo as a baby.
The Dismissal of the Lawsuit
Elden’s lawyers have said that they plan to appeal the dismissal of the lawsuit. They argue that Elden was not old enough to consent to the photo when it was taken, and that he has suffered lasting psychological damage as a result.
It is unclear whether Elden’s appeal will be successful. However, the case has raised important questions about the legal definition of child pornography and the rights of child actors.
What’s Next for Spencer Elden?
It is unclear what the future holds for Spencer Elden. He has said that he wants to move on from the Nevermind album cover and live a normal life. However, it is likely that he will continue to be associated with the photo for the rest of his life.
Elden has said that he is open to working with Nirvana to create a new album cover that is more positive and less controversial. He has also said that he is interested in pursuing a career in photography.