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Nevermind at 30: why the Nirvana baby lawsuit is a warning for parents

2 7 5
24.09.2021

Nirvana’s album Nevermind has reached its 30th anniversary and is under more scrutiny than ever as a result of a lawsuit recently filed by the former cover-star.

Spencer Elden, the underwater baby tempted by a dollar bill on a fishhook, is suing the band and Kurt Cobain’s estate for having “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography”. The claim states that the band benefited financially from their participation in his “sexual exploitation”. Elden now seeks a civil remedy of US$150,000 per defendant for the “lifelong damages” he claims to have suffered.

Originally inspired by Cobain’s fascination with waterbirths, it has been said the cover can be interpreted as a comment on the values society imparts to the youth. The same picture is, however, interpreted differently in the lawsuit which attempts to weave in the idea that the image was designed to elicit a sexual response from viewers.

It goes so far as to suggest that Cobain “chose” the image depicting Elden “like a sex worker – grabbing for a dollar bill that is positioned dangling from a fishhook in front of his nude body”.

Under US federal law, a key factor in distinguishing between the artistic cover and illegal explicit content is whether the depiction of the........

© The Conversation


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