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You may not know the name Spencer Elden, but one of his baby pictures is quite famous. Elden was photographed as an infant for the cover of Nirvana‘s iconic album, Nevermind. Now he is suing the band as the album gets ready to celebrate its 30th anniversary,

At the time, 4-month-old Elden was the son of a friend of photographer Kurt Weddle. Geffen Records objected to Elden‘s penis being shown on the album cover, but Kurt Cobain reportedly insisted, saying if they had to censor the photo, the label could do so with a strategically placed sticker.

Elden has now filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain‘s estate, citing child sexual exploitation and saying his legal guardians did not give permission to use his image for the photo. He is suing for $150,000 claiming he has suffered lifelong damage as a result.

The lawsuit is in contrast to Elden‘s celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary in 2016, where he recreated the image during a photoshoot. Five years ago, Elden was quoted as saying, “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.”


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Mel is the WFPK morning host.