Baby from Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ Album Cover Sues, Calling It Child Porn

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The man who, as a baby, was featured on the front of Nirvana's now-iconic "Nevermind" album cover is now suing basically everyone involved in the album (and one person who was not), alleging they were participants in his commercial sexual exploitation as a child. 

Elden's lawer, Robert Y. Lewis of the New York-based Marsh Law Firm (which says it specializes in representing victims of sexual exploitation and abuse) characterizes the image in the lawsuit as follows: "Cobain chose the image depicting Spencer — like a sex worker — grabbing for a dollar bill that is positioned dangling from a fishhook in front of his nude body with his penis explicitly displayed."

Lewis also describes the image as "an explicit image which intentionally focused on Spencer’s carefully positioned enlarged genitals," "an image lasciviously displaying Spencer’s genitals on a worldwide scale" and "an image which focused on Spencer’s genitals to increase the shockingly obscene nature of the image."

That's probably because the definition of an image of child sexual exploitation under federal law requires "the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct," or the facsimile thereof, and includes "lascivious exhibition of the anus, genitals, or pubic area of any person."

His lawyer Lewis claims in the suit that there is a long history of using "sexually explicit material depicting a child or outright child pornography." As evidence, he cites Van Halen's "Balance," which featured a pair of (not real) conjoined children of indeterminate gender without shirts on a seesaw, Blind Faith's eponymous album, which featured a compensated professional model according to Rolling Stone and the extremely controversial cover of The Scorpion's 1976 "Virgin Killer," which the FBI reportedly investigated as child pornography in 2008 but never charged anyone over. 

In Tweets, Elden's law firm referenced the fact that news coverage of the lawsuit didn't show the full cover art from the "Nevermind" album. "So if this is not commercial child pornography then why are all the tabloids censuring 'art?'" they wrote in one, referencing a TMZ write-up of their case.

"Read the facts," they wrote in another. "Curious that so many posters, critics, social commentators put everything out there except the un-edited picture. Even the band thought it was child exploitation."

That is an apparent reference to a section of their own lawsuit in which they wrote — citing Time — that in reaction to record company's objections to the cover art, "Cobain agreed to redact Spencer’s image by releasing the album with a sticker strategically placed over Spencer’s genitals with the text: “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.'" 

Find more information online here.

Filed Under  Child Pornography  News  Nirvana  Uncategorized 

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