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Lawsuit against Nirvana by ‘Nevermind’ baby cover star dismissed

Spencer Elden's lawyers have until next week to refile the case

By Will Richards

The iconic cover of Nirvana's 'Nevermind' with a baby chasing a dollar bill underwater
Nirvana's 'Nevermind' album cover. (Photo: Nirvana/Universal Music)

The lawsuit against Nirvana by the subject of their iconic ‘Nevermind’ album cover has been dismissed by a judge.

Last year, Spencer Elden sued Nirvana and people connected to them, claiming the image of him in a swimming pool as a child is an example of child pornography and sexual exploitation.

“Defendants knowingly produced, possessed and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer,” the lawsuit filed in August read.

As Spin reports, California District Court judge Fernando M Olguin dismissed the case on Monday (January 3) after Elden’s lawyers missed a deadline to oppose the filing from Nirvana estate in December to dismiss the case. Elden’s lawyers have until January 13 to refile the case.

In the lawsuit, Elden’s lawsuit alleges the band “intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.”

It’s claimed he suffered “lifelong damages” because of the imagery, and Elden was seeking at least $150,000 from more than a dozen named defendants.

“Elden’s claim that the photograph on the ‘Nevermind’ album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious,” the Nirvana estate said in response to the lawsuit.

“A brief examination of the photograph, or Elden’s own conduct (not to mention the photograph’s presence in the homes of millions of Americans who, on Elden’s theory, are guilty of felony possession of child pornography) makes that clear.”

Reacting to the lawsuit recently, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl said: “I don’t know that I can speak on it because I haven’t spent too much time thinking about it. I feel the same way most people do in that I have to disagree. That’s all I’ll say.”

He was then asked how he feels about the fact Spencer did photoshoots where he recreated the cover as an adult. Grohl replied: “Listen, he’s got a ‘Nevermind’ tattoo. I don’t.”