In a nasty case of ‘where are they now?’, the boy featured on the cover of Placebo’s 1996 self-titled debut is now all grown-up, and looking to sue the band for emotional damages after saying that the image ‘ruined his childhood’.
According to News Ltd the star of the album cover, David Fox, 28, told London’s The Times that the image – taken when he was 12-years-old – severely disrupted his life and childhood, eventually forcing him to drop out of high school to avoid harassment over the album cover.
The image of Fox, in a scarlet-red hoodie pulling down on his face in a ghoulish expression, was originally snapped by Fox’s cousin who was a professional photographer. He later gave permission for the band to use his photograph without first consulting Fox, who was only told that the picture was used after it had already been confirmed to appear as the album’s cover.
“Within a week it was out in the shops,” said Fox. “It was in Virgin, it was in HMV, it was in Tesco, it was all over the place. I was watching EastEnders with my mum and I saw one of the billboards by the Tube station and it had my face on there.”
Fox claims that the album’s subsequent exposure and popularity led to excessive bullying and teasing at school, which led to him dropping out of school altogether to to escape the abuse. Though he later trained as a chef, Fox lost his job in the recession and is now using his mother’s savings and “every bit of spare money” he has to sue the band for damages, sixteen years after the fact, in a lawsuit he plans to file within a month.
After its initial release Placebo became a success in its native UK, reaching #5 on the charts and spawning hits such as “Nancy Boy” – which reached #4 on the singles chart – and (appropriately) Teenage Angst.
The group have yet to respond to the allegations, but their management has suggested that Fox direct his claim at the record label – not the band.
Seems Fox should really be suing his cousin for selling off his likeness in the first place, but these are tough times for GFC-afflicted Britain, but maybe Fox is just being a ‘nancy boy’ after all. Speaking of which…