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Nirvana lawyers say ‘Nevermind’ cover lawsuit “must end”

“For Elden this is strike three, this case must end"

By Hollie Geraghty

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

Lawyers for Nirvana have urged a US judge to dismiss the latest amendment to the ‘Nevermind’ cover lawsuit filed by Spencer Elden. 

Elden, who appeared on the band’s 1991 album cover as baby, initially took legal action last year, claiming the image of him naked in a swimming pool caused him “lifelong damages”.

Now, lawyers for Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have filed a motion to have the case dismissed for good, according to Spin.

“While there is no serious question that the photograph is not ‘child pornography,’ Elden’s case is long barred by the statute of limitations,” they wrote in the motion. “For Elden this is strike three, this case must end.”

It continued: “The time has run. Elden’s decision to not sue these defendants for the past 30 years, despite his decades-long knowledge of their same and unvaried conduct, is dispositive of his claim. It is as simple as that.”

Lawyers also quoted a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone in which Elden, then 12-years-old, said: “Every five years or so, somebody’s gonna call me up and ask me about ‘Nevermind’ … and I’m probably gonna get some money from it.”

Last month, the case was dismissed by a California district court after Elden’s lawyers missed a deadline to oppose the filing from the Nirvana estate to dismiss the case. Elden’s lawyers then filed an amended complaint that alleged Nirvana and those connected to the band “intentionally commercially marketed the child pornography”.

In a statement issued in response to the original complaint, representatives for Nirvana said the lawsuit was “not serious” and beyond the statute of limitations.

Reacting to the lawsuit last year, 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.”