A federal court in the United States has dismissed a man’s latest lawsuit against Nirvana over the band’s iconic 1991 album cover, which depicted him nude as a newborn.
Spencer Elden, 31, claimed that his appearance on the front of the Nevermind album amounted to child sexual abuse However, the judge ruled that it was too late for him to argue he had exploited. Mr. Elden’s legal options are now nearly gone because he cannot re-file the lawsuit, although his legal team informed US media that he will appeal the verdict. The complaint centered on an image of Mr. Elden swimming naked in a pool toward a dollar note punctured with a fish hook.
He claimed that he was unable to consent to the use of the photograph. He was suing for $150,000 (£130,000). Among the defendants were photographer Kirk Weddle, former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love, the widow of late singer Kurt Cobain. Mr. Elden launched his lawsuit in 2021, claiming that he was still within his rights to complain about the decades-old image since it had caused him pain and lost wages throughout his entire life.
On Friday, a Los Angeles court determined that Mr. Elden’s complaint filed long over the 10-year statute of limitations. A defense lawyer welcomed the ruling, calling the lawsuit “meritless.” The defense maintained that Mr. Elden had relished his role as the “Nirvana baby,” noting that he had re-enacted the shot in later life.
In 1991, a relatively unknown band paid Mr. Elden’s parents $200 (£173) for the photograph. Nevermind went on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.