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Chris Cuomo pushes back against lawyer representing man alleging Nirvana album cover is child pornography

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Chris Cuomo went back and forth with a lawyer representing Spencer Elden, the man who appeared naked as a baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album, Nevermind, and is now suing dozens of people with connections to the album for child pornography. Cuomo invited Maggie Mabie to appear on Cuomo Prime Time to plead her case.

“The focal point of the image is the minor's genitalia. And here in that image along with all of the other dose factors as we pled in our complaint, it is a very over sexualized image, and does constitute child pornography,” Mabie said. “More importantly, it was child exploitation in the way that they created it, and the way that they continue to distribute the image today.”

The image, which features Elden as an infant in a pool appearing to go after a superimposed dollar bill on a fish hook, has generally been considered a statement on capitalism, which Cuomo argued.

“I don’t ever remember anybody ever writing or anything being out there in society about this image as a sexualized or pornographic image,” Cuomo said. “I always thought that it was a suggestion of how right out of the womb, people are just grabbing for money and doing anything they can. I thought it was more about capitalism than it was sexuality.”

Non-sexualized images of infants are generally not considered to be child pornography under law, yet Mabie compared Elden to victims of child pornography. But Cuomo wasn’t having it, given that Elden has repeatedly recreated the image, and even got “Nevermind” tattooed across his chest.

“You think that this man is really a good face for the pain of child pornography?” Cuomo asked. “Somebody who’s made money out of it. Has a tattoo on his chest about it. Has celebrated it at different times in his life and had all this time to reach out about it in the context that you're offering now, and never did? You really think that this is something that would be comforting to real victims?”