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Nirvana sued by man who was nude baby on 'Nevermind' cover in 1991

63 Comments
By ANDREW DALTON

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Something too late to sue, sounds more like blatant opportunism..

Give him the dollar from the fish hook..

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Total abuse of the legal system, hope this gets dismissed quickly.

I must have seen that album cover a hundred times before I ever noticed the kid was naked. It's a baby swimming, what, he's meant to be wearing a burka?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

At least the gist of the cover is accurate.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I agree with him, but he should be angry at his parents for signing his rights away.

He did not have the opportunity to give consent to this.

His picture was used commercially to generate a profit.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

The "victim" has know about this for years, and capitalized on it. He has "nevermind" tattooed across his entire chest and (just to be sure that everyone knows the baby is him) has posed for the same underwater photo shoot as a grown man. The case is a joke.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Personally I think he has a claim. Why should his parents be able to sign away his life long rights before he even has a say?

Hard price to pay for those who didn't really think it through back in the day, but they should have thought it through back in the day. And Dave Grohl can (should) afford iit.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Share the money around please. There is enough of it.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

He's as much of a baby as he was 30 years ago.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

This dude has lived off that photo for decades. Now that the cash cow is finally wearing thin he sues. What a total fraud

19 ( +21 / -2 )

The irony of the baby grabbing money, now grabbing the money.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

He should thank Nirvana for making him special the ungrateful twerp

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Billboard puts the cover at 7 in their list of 'Best Album Covers Of All Time.' Hard to say how successful the album would have been with a different cover but it became one of the seminal grunge/alt rock albums, and is also probably responsible for the later success of the first album Bleach, which didn't do a lot of business (didn't chart) until after Nevermind was released.

All that to say, I think the picture on the album cover had quite a bit to do with Nirvana's success, and Elden deserves to get paid for his naked image which has been seen by at least 30,000,000 people. Especially because he never consented to his picture being taken in the first place.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Personally I think he has a claim. Why should his parents be able to sign away his life long rights before he even has a say?

Basically, you are saying that all commercial photos of babies and toddlers must be banned. No babies in movies either. No consent, no use.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What's next? Is he going to sue all the owners of the "Nevermind" album for possession of child pornography?

If he is really serious now, he should show he has got stones and just file a class action lawsuit (against millions of people).

Some people's genius is almost frightening.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Another woke leftist that was perfectly fine a few years ago and now feels the pull of wokeness. Now he wants a buck? The guy should take pride for being an icon for one of the biggest and most recognized premier Grunge Bands.

The guy just looks desperate and a pawn for the leftist woke agenda.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Would be curious to learn if\how he has earned $$ from the pic over the years as this is the first time I have heard of the guy.

If he has been paid, how & how much. Or if he has been earning $$ somehow on the side over the years because of the pic, or if he hasnt earned anything but just let it be known he was the cover baby for laughs\attention

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Had he not come out and made such a publicity splash a few years ago by doing all those "now and then" pictures, not a soul on Earth, aside from himself and his family, would even know that it was him.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

He added, “It’d be nice to have a quarter for every person that has seen my baby penis."

Then a light bulb appeared above his head and thought wow, a quarter for every person that has seen my penis? Cha-ching!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"With my cash down, bank balance dangerous

Here we are now, c'mon pay us

Acting stupid and litigious

Here's my lawyer, he's quite shameless"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@bass4funk

Where does it mention this guy's political leanings at all?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Where does it mention this guy's political leanings at all?

Rhetorical question? Seriously?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

GW,

$200 or $250 for the original shoot (reports vary) and $1000 for one of the re-enactments. This from a site called latestcelebarticles.com so I'll leave judgement of its veracity up to you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

inkochiToday  07:17 am JST

At least the gist of the cover is accurate.

And he hasn't matured beyond that either.

When the album came out in 1991 many stores stocked it with the baby's phallus covered by a sticker on the wrapping. And anybody who bought it who has pedo tendecies is an immature sick puke in the first place.

There are countless works of art thruout history that show human sex organs that are not meant to be erotic or invoke erotic feelings whatsoever. The statue of David by Michaelangelo, many of these classical 'Madonna' (Mother Mary and Baby Jesus) paintings, these ancient 'pregnant Venus' sculptures found thruout Europe dating back maybe 10000 years or so, and even some paintings of Jesus Christ's death where He is naked on the cross with his business hanging down (crucifixion victims often were executed in the nude). The last mentioned art form is to denote the humanity of Jesus, the Son of God is a biological man. And there are absolutely no pornographic overtones in that or any of the above art works mentioned. And let's nor forget the picture disks / LPs carried on the Pioneer 10, 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft showing a nude man and woman standing (among other info) on them.

Robert CikkiToday  08:34 am JST

What's next? Is he going to sue all the owners of the "Nevermind" album for possession of child pornography?

If he is really serious now, he should show he has got stones and just file a class action lawsuit (against millions of people).

Some people's genius is almost frightening.

> NOMINATIONToday  08:53 am JST

He added, “It’d be nice to have a quarter for every person that has seen my baby penis."

Then a light bulb appeared above his head and thought wow, a quarter for every person that has seen my penis? Cha-ching!

And what about the doctors and nurses who saw it his entire life? Is he gonna sue them all too?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ah_soToday  07:51 am JST

He's as much of a baby as he was 30 years ago.

KaerimashitaToday  07:52 am JST

This dude has lived off that photo for decades. Now that the cash cow is finally wearing thin he sues. What a total fraud

A greedy pathethic whiner.

DaninthepanToday  07:53 am JST

The irony of the baby grabbing money, now grabbing the money.

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans. Then that chump sued three news networks for $22 million for 'defamation' and quiet settlements were made. He is now 19 years old and will never have to work a day in his life. He 'went on' to become a speaker for the Antichrist Trump at an RNC convention last year. Catholic? Christian? What about the Commandment that says, 'You Shall Not Steal'?

This chump is no different. He's had his notoriety and just how much moolah has he made from this now-iconic cover photo, anyway? It's been 30 years folks and that's quite a long time in rock'n'roll. Funny that you don't hear about lawsuits from all the gorgeous women who haved posed for album covers, do ya?

SpeedToday  08:49 am JST

Had he not come out and made such a publicity splash a few years ago by doing all those "now and then" pictures, not a soul on Earth, aside from himself and his family, would even know that it was him.

I remember that. Famous 15 Minutes for sure. And he is now 30 years old and like that phony Christian he decides he just don't to work for a living. 'Oh woe is me'. Can it, moocher!

People like these two make me absolutely sick to the max.

KentarogaijinToday  06:51 am JST

Something too late to sue, sounds more like blatant opportunism..

Give him the dollar from the fish hook..

If the judge has any sense at all, he/she won't even give him that. Give him nothing. Fraudulant lawsuits like this are absolutely a waste of time. Disgusting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans. Then that chump sued three news networks for $22 million for 'defamation' and quiet settlements were made. 

You might want to do a little more reading about that. There's more to that story.

"The video shows a small group of black men who identify themselves as Hebrew Israelites first shouting hateful and racially combative things at everyone -- the Native Americans, other black men, the Covington Catholic students who were in town for the anti-abortion Right to Life March, and even a priest."

abc13.com/nick-sandmann-maga-hat-kid-indigenous-peoples-march-dc-2019-what-is/5099681/

Funny that you don't hear about lawsuits from all the gorgeous women who haved posed for album covers, do ya?

You mean models who consented, and got paid? Not the best argument, I'm afraid. Kind of hurts your case, actually.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This dude has lived off that photo for decades.

Has he? I may change my opinion on the matter if he has.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans.

Unfortunately, that's not what the story ended up being, only what some media sold it as for clicks:

As of this writing, it seems that the smiling boy, Nick Sandmann, is the one person who tried to be respectful of Phillips and who encouraged the other boys to do the same. And for this, he has been by far the most harshly treated of any of the people involved in the afternoon’s mess at the Lincoln Memorial.I recommend that you watch the whole of the Black Hebrew Israelites’ video, which includes a long, interesting passage, in which the Covington Catholic boys engage in a mostly thoughtful conversation with the Black Hebrew Israelite preacher. Throughout the conversation, they disrespect him only once—to boo him when he says something vile about gays and lesbians.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/media-must-learn-covington-catholic-story/581035/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oops, posted before I was finished. Continued:

That boy got screwed by an extreme leftist who took a clip out of context, and posted this about the boy:

And to all you aggrieved folks who thought this Gillette ad was too much bad-men-shaming, after we just saw it come to life with those awful kids and their fetid smirking harassing that elderly man on the Mall: Go fuck yourselves.

Which led to America condemning him, his getting doxed, and getting all sorts of death threats.

This is why extremism is bad on both ends.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bass4funk

No I'm serious man, where does it mention he is a 'woke leftie'?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No I'm serious man, where does it mention he is a 'woke leftie?

Because a few years ago before all of this wokeness took hold he never took legal action against this and now all of a sudden he’s outraged? Sorry, maybe you don’t think so, but I see it. Now the guy went all woke.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Are we somehow supposed to recognize the guy now simply by looking at the album photo? I hope he's not suggesting that little thing sticking out still looks the same.

Get outta here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Should be thrown out of court before it gets there. Blatant opportunism on the albums 30th anniversary.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@bass4funk

That's a big stretch to see wokeness. It's clearly just a guy that wants more money.

I agree people can take wokeness way too far, but this isn't an example of that in my opinion.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@express sister

Good point. This guy does sound more like someone who hates liberal leaning artists. Probably some unemployable magat.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's a big stretch to see wokeness. It's clearly just a guy that wants more money.

I deeply believe so.

I agree people can take wokeness way too far, but this isn't an example of that in my opinion.

Sorry, I just find it hard to believe, if this happened right after he turned 18 then I would say, Ok...no problem, but now so late and then all of a sudden this? Just not buying it.

You clearly have an agenda here

Yes, just like you, to opine.

and it’s to speculate and try and direct news to support your political preferences. Based on the responses here, it’s fallen flat.

Sorry, wrong again....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The American term "woke" is now overused and meaningless. So anyone on the left is "woke" and anyone on the right is asleep?

Even makes for bad English.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So the guy should sue his parents then. All this free publicity now might just push up their album sales, though.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

12 x $150,000 = $1,800,000...

...Opportunity Knocks!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

well he is still swimming after a dollar to this day...

a bit ironic

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The suit, filed by Spencer Elden in federal court in California, alleges that Nirvana and the record labels behind “Nevermind” “intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.”

And yet at the time of the album's release, thirty years ago, no-one was "shocked". No-one saw it as "child pornography". I'd wager no-one saw the image of a naked little baby in the water as "shocking" or as "child pronography" up until a few seconds before Spencer Elden first thought of it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think that the parasitic lawyers will the only ones who will truly benefit from this case, lets define child porn, is it for money or not? should his parents charged with child porn as the profited from it? ( if there alive) should he be intiteled to royalties from the record sales? as hes instramentle in there financial gain?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And yet at the time of the album's release, thirty years ago, no-one was "shocked". No-one saw it as "child pornography".

Although starpunk above said that some places had stickers over the boy's genitalia. I presume that was in some ultra prudish part of the USA, because that certainly wasn't the case in the UK.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh please. A naked baby didn't sell Nirvana's records, their music did. This dude needs to grow a pair and make something of his life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Spencer Elden has a clear and valid point, whether Spencer Elden has a financial claim is for the courts to decide.

Spencer Elden allegation of child phonography, would require the court determining such a depiction represents a desire to present Spencer Elden as a victim of sexual exploitation as a child.

That could be pushing the curve

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The album cover was prophetic. He’s still grabbing for the dollar.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You see the depiction, in my humble opinion , is not of a sexual nature.

The question is consent.

At 4 months old Spencer Elden his hardly likely to have burped or in this case bubbled out his objections.

Could that be something Spencer Elden needs to reconcile with his parents?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sure, it’s a money grab. Why not? I think he has every right. And, it’s a well crafted lawsuit. He is only asking $150,000 from each person. Brilliant! They can all afford that. Cheaper than defending it. Let’s see how many just pay up.

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-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not sure if it's his idea or his lawyers', but the suit should be dismissed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds like a baby who is now a grown man with an attitude. He should ask his parents why?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A naked baby didn't sell Nirvana's records, their music did.

I agree to a degree, but album covers are definitely part of the marketing. Think about Sgt. Pepper’s by The Beatles with all the cardboard cutouts (and their Abbey Road). The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers with the working pants zipper down the front and Odessa by the BeeGees which was covered with red velvet. And don’t forget Spinal Tap’s album which could be “none more black.” If covers weren’t important they would all be plain white with the album and band name typed in black. Nevermind’s artwork consistently appears in ‘most iconic’ lists, so I’d have to assume it contributed something to the buzz the album generated.

I certainly picked up The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa because of the cover.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never mind

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its a money grab pure and simple and lining a lawyer's pocket. I would be so darn happy to be on such an iconic album. Lets get this straight Nirvana's music sold those albums and made it era defining NOT some naked baby

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandAug. 27  10:36 am JST

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans.

Unfortunately, that's not what the story ended up being, only what some media sold it as for clicks:

As of this writing, it seems that the smiling boy, Nick Sandmann, is the one person who tried to be respectful of Phillips and who encouraged the other boys to do the same. And for this, he has been by far the most harshly treated of any of the people involved in the afternoon’s mess at the Lincoln Memorial.I recommend that you watch the whole of the Black Hebrew Israelites’ video, which includes a long, interesting passage, in which the Covington Catholic boys engage in a mostly thoughtful conversation with the Black Hebrew Israelite preacher. Throughout the conversation, they disrespect him only once—to boo him when he says something vile about gays and lesbians.

Nick Sandman & Co. were jeered at by racist hypocrites and then they did the same trick smugly on a Native American activist themselves. The Bible mentions in itself such duplicity and hypocracy. I don't care what ninny Nick says about it, his smug actions and the racist things his cohorts said showed that they are as ill-mannered, racist, unchristian and hypocritical as those 'Black Hebrew' dirtbags who taunted them. They're no better. And that MAGAt hat said it all too, who's his god? Trump is an antichrist. Nick Sandman is a wimpy whiny money-stealer. Ands so is this lazy hypocrite jerk. He deserves nothing cash wise. Nick Sandman is an unchristian theif who will never have to work a day in his life now. And this whiner wants to take the same path. He should get nothing because like Nick Sandman he is a loudmoth attention-seeking whining fraud.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much time has passed since the photo was taken is not the issue.

The subject of the photo and his actions, past and present, are not the issue.

Having a photo of a nude child on an album cover is.

And those who have benefited from said photo should be punished and the photo should be censored.

(And those who thought such a photo was a good idea should have their consciences examined.)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nick Sandman & Co. were jeered at by racist hypocrites and then they did the same trick smugly on a Native American activist themselves.

No, videos of the event show that he didn't do that. It's not just him saying that, it's an analysis of publicly available video.

his smug actions and the racist things his cohorts said showed that they are as ill-mannered, racist, unchristian and hypocritical as those 'Black Hebrew' dirtbags who taunted them. They're no better. And that MAGAt hat said it all too,

He was wearing a MAGA hat. I've worn won as a joke myself, when someone had one at a party. If that's the total of your evidence, it's pretty weak.

He should get nothing because like Nick Sandman he is a loudmoth attention-seeking whining fraud.

Nope. This he was a kid who got screwed by the media who wanted clicks, and reacted without fact-checking.

This story is EXACTLY what is wrong with America.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bass4funk, this is not political, just a man trying to get as much cash as possible. He must be out of money and probably has never worked a day in his life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Times have changed. Women that never said a thing about being hugged or even consenting to certain things have come out of the woodwork recently and claimed they were harassed. The Louis CK thing is a prine example.

This guy deserves his day in court too. If it were a girl, people would probably have a different opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Furthermore, if record labels and artists are blocking and profiting from copyright and publishing rights, this guy should do what he can to do the same. Its his image, his genitals on full display. He may have been proud to be part of history at one point, but thats got nothing to do with the law. A musician might feel great their song was used over and over again, until they realize others have profited from their ignorance.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Is this some sort of Meta-art satire?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In a healthy society a naked baby isnt and never has been sexualized. Its been that way for a couple of thousand years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans. 

You couldnt be more wrong about that “prep school kid” and the incident.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As of this writing, it seems that the smiling boy, Nick Sandmann, is the one person who tried to be respectful of Phillips and who encouraged the other boys to do the same. And for this, he has been by far the most harshly treated of any of the people involved in the afternoon’s mess at the Lincoln Memorial.I recommend that you watch the whole of the Black Hebrew Israelites’ video, which includes a long, interesting passage, in which the Covington Catholic boys engage in a mostly thoughtful conversation with the Black Hebrew Israelite preacher. Throughout the conversation, they disrespect him only once—to boo him when he says something vile about gays and lesbians.

Hypocracy is still hypocracy. Lipping off something vile like shows ignorance on both sides.

TrinityAug. 28  12:20 pm JST

He reminds me of a Catholic prep school kid (who will remain nameless, he is shameless) who got into a confrontation with a Native American activist in Washington DC a few years ago wearing a MAGA cap and a smug grin while he and his friends chanted pro-Trump/pro-wall slogans. 

You couldnt be more wrong about that “prep school kid” and the incident.

Spoiled kids who never work in their lives, Daddy's Gonna Pay For their Crashed Cars. Uh-huh, sha-la. When I was their ages I was already busting my can in the US Navy to make something for myself. Most of us 'proletariats' do. Ninny Nick will never work in his life now, a zillionaire who nows kisses Antichrist Trump's rear end.

And Spencer Elden shone in his glory for a few years and now he's doing the same, wanting to steal mioney by whining about something he basked in the limelight for himself now that he is 30 going on 3. He ain't playing with a full deck, the only card he's got is the joker.

Call me a Marxist or whatever, say what you will but I have no sympathy at all for hypocrites, spoiled rich brats, aristocrats or lazy whiners who don't want to work in their lives and who just want to suck up money from the rest of us who do labor or have done so in the past. They desrve no respect or admiration from anyone and they won't get any from me. They are all chumps. And that goes to that unqualified excuse of a POTUS we just had to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

*They are all chumps. And that goes to that unqualified excuse of a POTUS we just had to.*

Im curious what you think of the POTUS we have now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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