On Cuomo Prime Time Wednesday, Chris Cuomo sparred with Maggie Mabie, a lawyer representing Spencer Elden, who appeared naked as a baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind. Elden is now suing the two surviving members of the band, Dave Grohl and Krist Novocelic, along with many others, alleging child pornography.
Cuomo’s thoughts on the lawsuit were evident from the very beginning of the interview. After playing a short clip of the video for the first single off the album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Cuomo said, “Part of the lyrics of that song is, ‘I found it hard, it’s hard to find. Oh well, whatever, never mind.’ I’m a little like that with your complaint, that’s why I want to talk to you about it.”
Elden’s lawyers have made wild claims about the album cover, saying it made him look like a sex worker, and that he was used as an essential element of a record promotion scheme. Thirty years later, Mabie says there’s no doubt the image constitutes child pornography and was sexual in nature.
“The focal point of the image is the minor’s genitalia. And here in that image along with all of the other dose factors as we pled in our complaint, it is a very over-sexualized image, and does constitute child pornography,” Mabie said. “More importantly, it was child exploitation in the way that they created it, and the way that they continue to distribute the image today.”