‘Nevermind’ baby Spencer Elden files another art lawsuit against Nirvana

Spencer Elden, who appeared as a baby on the album cover for Nirvana’s 1991 album ‘Nevermind’, has filed another complaint after a judge dismissed his previous lawsuit, alleging the photo and its use “commercial sexual exploitation of children.” and pornography.

Elden, who is now 30 years old, filed a lawsuit last August against surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, along with Kurt Cobain’s estate. The lawsuit alleged that Elden’s guardians never signed a waiver permitting commercial use of the photo, that the defendants “violated” federal child pornography laws, and that Elden suffered “injuries” and “lifetime damage.”

Earlier this month, a judge dismissed the case “with permission to modify” in a US district court in Central California. It came after Elden’s legal team failed to meet the deadline to appeal the Nirvana estate’s request to drop the lawsuit.

At the time of the dismissal, the court said Elden would be given “one last chance to amend his complaint”. At the time, it was reported that Nirvana’s estate has until January 27 to respond to the re-indicted suit.

Nirvana
Cover of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’. CREDIT: Nirvana/Universal Music

Pitchfork reports that on Wednesday (Jan. 12), Elden filed a second, amended complaint, dispelling a claim that the defendants “knowingly [benefited] of participating in what they know or should know is a sex trafficking enterprise.”

The new complaint alleges that Nirvana, Cobain’s estate, Kurt Weddle (who took the photo used on the ‘Nevermind’ cover) and multiple record labels “deliberately commercialized the child pornography that Spencer is depicted on and the voluptuous nature of its image to promote the Nevermind album, the band and Nirvana’s music, while making at least tens of millions of dollars in aggregate.”

Per USA todayElden’s attorneys say in a press release that the amended lawsuit contains new “images and materials” that they say “reveal the deliberate choices of the ‘Nevermind’ creators to commercialize and exploit the sexually explicit photo that voluptuously portrays Spencer’s depicts genitals”.

In a statement released last month in response to the original complaint, Nirvana representatives refuted the claims, saying the lawsuit was “not serious” and out of statute of limitations.

The suit wouldn’t apply until 10 years after Elden discovered he was the baby on the album cover, with Nirvana representatives rejecting the idea that he had only discovered this within the past decade.

They went on to cite occasions when Elden had seemingly embraced appearing on the album cover, claiming that he “had taken advantage of his fame as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’ for three decades”.

“He has remade the photo many times for a fee; the album title Nevermind is tattooed on his chest; has appeared on a talk show wearing a flesh-colored jumpsuit that parodies itself; has signed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay, and has used the connection to try and pick up women,” the statement read.

“There is no doubt that Elden’s claims will fail on the merits.”

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