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Nirvana's 'Nevermind' cover lawsuit has been dismissed

Spencer Elden filed a complaint in August claiming the band had "sexually exploited" him as an infant

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 5 January 2022
Nirvana's 'Nevermind' cover lawsuit has been dismissed

A child sexual exploitation lawsuit filed by a man who was a newborn when he featured on the cover of Nirvana's iconic 1991 album 'Nevermind' has been dismissed.

On Monday, January 3, a California court dismissed Spencer Elden's complaint "with leave to amend," according to Spin magazine.

Elden's lawyers missed the deadline to file an objection to the Nirvana estate's December motion to dismiss the lawsuit. His team has until January 13 to file a new application.

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Elden claimed in August that he was a subject of child sexual exploitation and that the band had "knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised" the image of Elden without his parent's permission.

In the picture - Elden, a baby, is shown grasping for a dollar note in a swimming pool, his genitals exposed.

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Elden claims he and his legal guardians did not sign a release allowing "any images of Spencer or his likeness" to be used.

In a motion filed on December 24, lawyers for Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love (as executor of the Kurt Cobain estate), photographer Kirk Weddle, and UMG Recordings asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

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Lawyers asserted that the case was “not serious,” as Nirvana asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed altogether.

Lawyers counteracted this claim by arguing that Elden had willingly recreated the artwork for the album’s 15th and 25th anniversaries, and used his tie to the band as a claim to fame for the past three decades.

By the January 13, the court will "grant defendants' motion and give plaintiff one last opportunity to amend his complaint".

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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