Back in August, Spencer Elden, the baby from the cover of Nirvana‘s massive 1991 album Nevermind, filed a lawsuit claiming that his appearance on the album cover counted as child pornography and sex trafficking.
He later doubled down by including some of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s more obscene lyrical notes from his journals in his amended claim.
Now, Nirvana are seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, making it very clear that Elden enjoyed his role in the legendary album for decades before making “absurd” claims.
“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’,” says the motion to dismiss filed by the remaining band members and Cobain’s widow Courtney Love. “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title ‘Nevermind’ tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.
“Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious,” continues the motion, per Consequence of Sound. “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.
“But the Nevermind cover photograph was taken in 1991. It was world-famous by no later than 1992. Long before 2011, as Elden has pled, Elden knew about the photograph, and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph. He has been fully aware of the facts of both the supposed ‘violation’ and ‘injury’ for decades.
In addition to his child pornography claim, Elden has alleged that the creation of the photograph for the album cover art entailed the sex trafficking of Elden when he was a baby.
Setting aside that this premise is absurd, the statute Elden invokes to cover conduct in 1991, became effective on December 19, 2003 and has no retroactive application to conduct by a defendant that pre-dates its effective date.”
More on this story as it unfolds.
Words by Chris Krovatin