Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ baby album cover lawsuit is dismissed

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Nirvana’s naked-baby artwork for Nevermind constitutes child sexual exploitation. The surviving members of Nirvana (Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic), the estate of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, photographer Kirk Weddle, and the labels that released Nevermind were all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The baby in question — Spencer Elden, who is now 30 — claimed he suffered “lifelong damages,” including loss of wages, as a result of the album cover, and described the enterprise as a “sex trafficking venture.” Last month, a lawyer for the defendants filed to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Elden’s claim “is, on its face, not serious” and adding that the statute of limitations on the claims had expired in 2011.  In addition, the motion to dismiss said that long before the statute of limitations expired, “Elden knew about the photograph, and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph.  For years, Elden had participated in paid campaigns recreating the cover image, in addition to getting the album’s titled tattooed on his chest. If Elden’s claim were true, everybody who owned the album cover would be “guilty of felony possession of child pornography.”

Elden’s team had until December 30 to respond to the motion to dismiss, but missed the deadline.  Elden has until January 13 to refile the case with appropriate changes.

Editorial credit: Stefano Chiacchiarini /

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