They dismissed the complaint for “child pornography” of the baby on the cover of “Nevermind”, Nirvana’s most famous album


Spencer Elden sued former Nirvana members over the photo illustrating his iconic album, Nevermind (@nypost)

A California judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by Spencer elden, the man photographed as a baby 30 years ago for the iconic Nirvana album cover “Nevermind,” against members of the band and various associated companies, for child pornography and sexual exploitation for commercial purposes.

The Seattle group’s legal team had submitted an official response to the court action.

In the last hours, Judge Fernando Olguín rejected the accusations after the expiration of the term granted to Elden to present an opposition to the motion for dismissal presented by the defendants, according to the specialized site. Variety.

However, the magistrate set a new deadline for January 13, the date on which the case will fall definitively if the plaintiff does not make the pertinent presentations.

Spencer Elden alleges that he suffered
Spencer Elden alleges that he suffered “lifetime damage” from his nude image swimming underwater after a dollar bill dangling from a hook. The photo was taken when he was 4 months old

The defendants included Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain’s widow, surviving gang members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, but also photographer Kirk Weddle; record companies and even Chad Channing, the band’s original drummer who had left the group long before the release of that album.

However, the fact that Elden has publicly presented himself for many years as the “baby of Nirvana” and that he has agreed to recreate the cover on several occasions was the main argument used by the defense to reject the charges.

The lawsuit stated Elden has suffered “damage for life” by the image of him naked underwater swimming behind a dollar bill dangling from a hook, in a photo taken when he was 4 months old.

In statements to the newspaper The New York Times, the lawyer said that Elden, who is now thirty years old and is an artist living in Los Angeles, had to go to therapy for years.

“He has not met anyone who has not seen his genitalia”, He said. “It is a constant reminder that you have no privacy. Your privacy is of no value to the world. “

Elden had been portrayed by a photographer friend of his parents, who paid $ 200 for the photograph; And, according to his version, he never clarified that the image – which was later edited to show the baby chasing a dollar – was going to be used for an album cover.

Nirvana’s response

It was in 1991 when Nirvana released this second studio album that ended up becoming one of the greatest milestones of their career.  Nevermind has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide over three decades of history, making Spencer one of the best-known babies in the world.
It was in 1991 when Nirvana released this second studio album that ended up becoming one of the greatest milestones of their career. Nevermind has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide over three decades of history, making Spencer one of the best-known babies in the world.

Last August, Elden and his attorney sought compensation of about $ 150,000 to each of the defendants, including drummer Dave Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic, property managers Kurt Cobain and photographer Kirk Weddle, among others, as well as executives from Universal Music and Geffen Records.

Nirvana representatives refuted the claims of Elden, who in his lawsuit claimed that his image used on the cover of the famous 1991 album, where he is seen naked under the water of a pool chasing a dollar bill, meant “lifetime damage”.

“Elden has spent three decades benefiting from his fame as the self-proclaimed ‘baby Nirvana'”, affirmed the spokesmen of the band of the late Kurt Cobain, who also assured that the plaintiff, today 30 years old, has recreated the photo “on more than one occasion “, has given interviews about it and even has “Nevermind” tattooed on his chest.

“He has appeared on talk shows in flesh-colored jumpsuit-style pajamas parodying himself; he has autographed copies of the album cover to sell on eBay and has used his link to try to flirt with women ”, indicated the legal representatives of Nirvana.

The gang’s lawyers have deemed Elden’s argument about child pornography absurd. To do this, they have echoed some statements that Elden himself made in an interview in 2015 in the British newspaper The Guardian, in which he spoke about the significance of the photo: “It’s kind of strange … to be part of such a culturally iconic image … But it has always been something positive and it has opened doors for me.”Elden said nearly seven years ago.

Keep reading:

The case of Nirvana’s baby

Why the kid on the cover of “Nevermind” is suing Nirvana for child pornography