A judge has dismissed plaintiff Spencer Elden’s lawsuit against Nirvana over the cover of Nevermind.
- RELATED: Universal confirms Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Elton John music amongst records lost in 2008 fire
Spencer Elden was famously photographed as a baby on the cover for Nirvana’s 1991 album, Nevermind. In August 2021, Elden sued the surviving members of the band for child sexual exploitation. Elden filed the lawsuit just one month before the iconic album’s 30th anniversary. The lawsuit was filed against the surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, and Nirvana associates.
Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ Baby Album Cover Lawsuit Dismissed by Judge https://t.co/j3WrPRznYV
— Variety (@Variety) January 4, 2022
About the Nevermind lawsuit:
The 30-year-old Spencer Elden claimed that the image of him at four months old with exposed genitals was meant to be sexual in nature. In the lawsuit, Elden claims that it was meant to “trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer.” He went on to allege that this caused him to suffer “injuries” and “lifelong damages.” Elden not only sought monetary compensation, but he also requested that the cover artwork be changed for future Nevermind re-releases.
Grohl, Novoselic, and Love filed a motion to dismiss Elden’s lawsuit on December 22nd. In the motion, they claimed that the suit was “not serious” and filed years after the federal statute of limitations had run out. They also pointed out that Elden had previously embraced the Nevermind cover, even recreating the photo shoot.
“Elden has spent three decades profiting form his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’,” the motion read. “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title Nevermind tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-coloured 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 missed a December 30th deadline to respond to the band’s motion to dismiss. As a result, the judge granted Nirvana’s motion and vacated future hearings.
Elden can refile the lawsuit, but he would have to do so by January 13th, 2022.