Last week, the rock world heaved a collective sigh of, “Finally” when it was revealed that the lawsuit against grunge legends Nirvana by one Spencer Elden. Elden’s then-infant model whose image adorns the cover of the Seattle band’s hit album Nevermind, had been dismissed by a judge. Elden had claimed that the band’s album sleeve was child pornography and sexual exploitation, which Nirvana refuted. Unfortunately, it appears that our long national nightmare is not yet over, as Elden has since refiled his lawsuit against the band.
According to Rolling Stone, Elden has filed an amended lawsuit, which still goes on record stating that Nirvana “intentionally commercially marketed the child pornography depicting Spencer and leveraged the lascivious nature of his image to promote the Nevermind album, the band, and Nirvana’s music, while earning, at a minimum, tens of millions of dollars in the aggregate.”
The big difference here is that Elden has dropped his previous claim that the Nevermind cover acted as a sex-trafficking operation, while his original suit said that the band “knowingly benefit from participation in what they know or should know is a sex trafficking venture.”
Last month, Nirvana sought to get the case dismissed, with the remaining members and frontman Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love saying, “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.”
But perhaps the best and most accurate response was from former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, who, when asked about Elden, responded, “Listen, he’s got a Nevermind tattoo. I don’t.”
Words by Chris Krovatin