Nirvana's 'Nevermind' artwork lawsuit has been dismissed

Virgin Radio

4 Jan 2022, 16:20

The long-running lawsuit has finally been thrown out.

Nirvana had been taken to court by Spencer Elden, the man who appeared on the cover of 'Nevermind' when he was a baby.

Now 30, he sued the band, claiming the image of him as a nude infant in a swimming pool was sexual exploitation, and claimed that the artwork constituted child sexual abuse.

The case has now been dismissed by a judge in California.

Elden claimed the popular image caused him "extreme and permanent emotional distress" as well as loss of wages and "enjoyment of life".

The band filed for the claim to be dismissed last month.

Nirvana argued that Elden's arguments lacked merit, with their lawyer's saying: "Elden's claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is 'child pornography' is, on its face, not serious," their lawyers said, noting that anyone who owned a copy of the record would "on Elden's theory [be] guilty of felony possession of child pornography".

Lawyers also pointed out that until recently Elden had courted attention that he received for being the "Nirvana baby".

"He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title... tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women."

Elden had sued surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love; and Kirk Weddle, the photographer of the cover image.

Lawyers argued that the statute of limitations on his claims had expired in 2011, meaning he was too late to sue.

His lawyers insist the statute of limitations does not apply.

They say as long as Nevermind continues to be sold in its current form then Elden has a valid claim.

Marsh Law told the press last year: "Child pornography is a forever crime. Any distribution of or profits earned from any sexually explicit image of a child not only creates longstanding liability but it also breeds lifelong trauma. This is common for all of our clients who are victims of actively traded child pornography, regardless of how long ago the image was created."

Elden's team missed the 30 December deadline put in place to respond to Nirvana's motion to dismiss.

Judge Fernando M Olguin dismissed the case "with leave to amend".

It may not be over yet, as Elden's team still has until 13 January to refile the case with appropriate changes.