Spencer Elden, now 30, is alleging that the image violates child pornography laws. The cover features a photo of Elden at 4 months old swimming naked in a pool as a $1 bill on a fishing hook dangles in front of him.
“Defendants reproduced child pornography depicting Spencer knowing and intending that it would be distributed internationally and that they would receive value from such widespread worldwide distribution,” the lawsuit states. “Despite this knowledge, Defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking.”
Elden is seeking $150,000 from each of the 17 named defendants, including record executives, Nirvana band members, and Courtney Love, the former wife of former Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, according to Variety.
The lawsuit claims that the image crosses the line into child porn and makes the baby appear “like a sex worker.”
Elden has said he was never compensated for the photo beyond the $200 his parents received for it on the day of the shoot.
Elden has recreated the pose several times as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (wearing swim trunks) on the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries.