Nirvana’s surviving members and Kurt Cobain’s estate were sued by Spencer Elden, who appeared as a baby on the cover of 1991’s Nevermind. Elden claims the band violated federal child pornography laws, arguing that the sexual exploitation of children confirms TMZ reports and documents viewed by Pitchfork. Pitchfork has asked Nirvana representatives for a comment.

In a lawsuit that also named photographer Kirk Weddle and the labels behind the album’s release, Elden claims he suffered “lifelong damage” and says his legal guardians never signed a press release “prohibiting the use of images Authorized by Spencer or his likeness, and most definitely not from commercial child pornography depicting him. ”He also complains of disseminating private sexually explicit material, negligence, and what is described as a“ sex trafficking company ”making the Elden“ too commercial ” Forced sexual activity while he was under the age of 18 “.

Elden is seeking damages, attorney fees, an injunction to prohibit any party from further engaging in the illegal acts and practices described here, and a jury trial.

“The permanent damage that he has suffered immediately includes, among other things, extreme and long-term emotional stress with physical manifestations, impairment of his normal development and educational progress, lifelong loss of earning capacity, loss of previous and future wages, past and future medical and psychological expenses Treatment, loss of joie de vivre and other losses that need to be described and proven in this matter, ”the lawsuit states.

Weddle was a friend of Elden’s father, Rick, and that’s how young Spencer landed on the album cover. “[Weddle] calls us and said, ‘Hey Rick, do you want to make $ 200 and throw your kid in the drink,’ ”Rick told NPR in 2008. “I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ And he said, ‘Well, I take pictures of kids all week, why don’t you meet me at the Rose Bowl and throw your kid in the drink?’ And we just had a big party by the pool and no one had any idea what was going on! ”According to reports, in 1991 Spencer received a platinum copy from Nevermind and a teddy bear from Geffen Records.

Elden has recreated the image several times over the years and has had the word “Nevermind” tattooed on his chest. “It sucks,” he said. “I’m mad about it, to be honest.”

This article was originally published on Aug 24 at 9:39 pm Eastern. It was last updated on Aug 24 at 10:18 PM Eastern.