Amendments to the lawsuit brought against Nirvana by Spencer Elden, who alleges that the cover art for their iconic album ‘Nevermind’ amounted to “commercial child pornography”, allege that Elden’s subject was also stylized and photographed as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
Lawyer Robert Lewis, representing Elden, now 30, filed the amended complaint on Monday (November 22), which was obtained by Digital Music News. The lawsuit upholds the original allegations, filed in August, that the defendants “failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and trafficking in images.”
The accused in this case are Nirvana, the late Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, photographer Kirk Weddle, designer Robert Fisher, the labels responsible for the release of “Nevermind” – Universal Music, MCA Records and Geffen Records – and Courtney Love, executor of the Cobain estate.
Amended lawsuit reiterates original lawsuit claim that Nirvana intended to “elicit a visceral sexual response from the viewer” by triggering Spencer’s “gag reflex” before tossing him underwater and taking pictures which highlighted and underlined Spencer’s exposed genitals ”.
The amended lawsuit also states, without further context, that “Weddle shortly thereafter produced photographs of Spencer disguised and portrayed as Hugh Hefner.”
In addition, the amendment also reveals unearthed journal entries allegedly made by Cobain, which present a “sketch [of] the album cover in a sexual way, with cum all over it.
“In several cases,” the lawsuit read, “the newspapers describe Cobain’s twisted vision for the No matter [sic] album cover, as well as his emotional struggles: “I like to make incisions in the wombs of infants, then kiss the incision until the child dies.”
The lawsuit cites the collection Newspapers, published in 2002 by Riverhead Books, as the source of the diary entries.
While the original costume also named former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, the amendment has his name removed. Other names withdrawn from the lawsuit include Warner Music, Heather Parry and Guy Oseary, the latter two previously being appointed as Cobain’s estate managers.
Claiming to have suffered from “extreme and permanent emotional distress,” Elden seeks actual damages or liquidated damages amounting to $ 150,000 per defendant, legal fees and a jury trial.
Elden also said that neither he nor his guardians “ever signed any authorization authorizing the use of images of Spencer or his image, and certainly no commercial child pornography depicting him.” Elden also requests that the album cover be changed for any future reissues. Earlier this month, “Nevermind” received a complete 30th anniversary reissue, all with the original cover art.
The defendants named in the amended lawsuit have yet to respond publicly to it. In October, Grohl commented on the costume, saying, “I feel the same as most people, I have to disagree,” before pointing out that Elden has a “Nevermind” tattoo and he doesn’t. not.
Earlier this month, Grohl said he had “a lot of ideas” on how the cover of “Nevermind” could be changed, “but we’ll see what happens.”
NME contacted photographer Kirk Weddle for comment.