Nirvana Accused of Dressing Up Baby as Hugh Hefner for Album Cover Photo Shoot
The now-adult Spencer Elden accuses Dave Grohl and his disbanded band of dressing him up as the Playboy founder for ‘Nevermind’ photo shoot when he was a baby.
AceShowbiz -The man who was naked on Nirvana‘s “Nevermind” album cover as a baby claims the rockers also dressed him up as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner for the photo shoot.
Four-month-old Spencer Elden was photographed in a swimming pool, reaching for a dollar bill, for the famous image but in August (21), he sued the band for sexual exploitation.
He claims his parents did not sign a release authorising the photography and terms the nude image “sexual exploitation.”
On Monday (22Nov21), his lawyer Robert Lewis filed an amended lawsuit with the new claim that photographer Kirk Weddle has “produced photographs of Spencer dressed up and depicted as Hugh Hefner.”
Weddle, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, designer Robert Fisher, and the record executives at Universal Music, MCA Records and Geffen Records are all named in the suit, as well as Kurt Cobain‘s widow Courtney Love, who is the executor of his estate. The troubled frontman took his own life in April, 1994.
The amended lawsuit reiterates the original legal argument that Nirvana intended to “trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer” by triggering “Spencer’s ‘gag reflex’ before throwing him underwater and took photos that highlighted and emphasized Spencer’s exposed genitals.”
The updated suit also references journal entries – including some purportedly from “Kurt Cobain: Journals”, published in 2002 – which contain a “sketch (of) the album cover in a sexual manner, with semen all over it.”
The suit reads, “In several instances the journals describe Cobain’s twisted vision for the Nevermind album cover, along with his emotional struggles, ‘I like to make incisions into the belly of infants then f**k the incision until the child dies.’ “
Elden has claimed he has “suffered and will continue to suffer lifelong damages” because of the artwork.
He is seeking actual damages, or liquidated damages amounting to $150,000 (£112,000) from each of the defendants named in the lawsuit, attorneys’ fees and a trial by jury.
In the past, Elden has recreated the cover both as a teenager and an album – while wearing swimming trunks – for the album’s 10th, 20th and 25th anniversaries, and at different times he has described the photo as both “a positive” or something that felt like his “human rights” were revoked.
Nirvana drummer Grohl – now the frontman of Foo Fighters – has suggested the cover could be “altered” for future reissues, after Spencer requested his genitals be censored in any subsequent releases.
“I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover but we’ll see what happens. We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good,” he told The Sunday Times magazine.
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