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Nirvana & Related Parties File Motion To Have “Nevermind” Cover Star’s Child Pornography Lawsuit Dismissed


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The Nirvana camp have filed a motion to have the current lawsuit they are facing from “Nevermind” cover star Spencer Elden dismissed. You likely recall that Elden, who appeared on the cover of the aforementioned 10x multi-platinum album in a photo taken when he was four-months-old, filed suit against the band and several related parties earlier this year, claiming the cover art constituted child pornography/child sexual exploitation.

Elden, who is now in his 30s, claims to have suffered from lifelong damages due to the cover art of the album, which featured him naked as an infant. Elden has since claimed that his father was only paid $200 for the photo, and that it was negotiated that his exposed genitalia would be covered up by a sticker on the album—an idea allegedly ultimately opposed by the band’s late frontman/guitarist Kurt Cobain.

Elden also claimed that neither he nor his guardians signed a release to authorize the usage of the image. He has been seeking a minimum of $150,000 per each defendant named. While Elden removed several previously named defendants in an amended copy of the complaint filed last month, he also provided some further evidence which he says backs up his claims, including excerpts from Cobain‘s personal journals.

Now the defendants, UMG Recordings, Inc., Nirvana L.L.C., Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love (as executor of the Estate of Kurt Cobain), Nirvana members Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and the album’s photographer Kirk Weddle have responded with a motion to have the suit dismissed. That motion was filed yesterday, December 22nd in a California court.

In the motion, the aforementioned parties claim that the alleged violation of the federal child pornography statute should be tossed due to it exceeding the statute of limitations. They argue that second claim of allegedly violating the federal sex trafficking of children statute cannot be sustained due to the alleged trafficking occurring before the enactment of a civil cause of action, while also citing the expiration of the statute of limitations on the claim.

In their motion to dismiss, the aforementioned parties stated of Elden:

“The baby in the photograph is now a thirty-year-old man, the plaintiff, Spencer Elden. Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed “Nirvana Baby.” He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has 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.”

The aforementioned parties also argued that the photo itself does not fall under the umbrella of child pornography as it is not “coupled with other circumstances that make the visual depiction lascivious or sexually provocative.” Instead the motion argues that the photograph “evokes themes of greed, innocence, and the motif of the cherub in Western art.”

You can find a copy of the full motion to have the suit dismissed here. It is expected to go before the courts on January 20th, 2022.

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