The Nirvana “Nevermind” Child Pornography Lawsuit Returns As Spencer Elden Appeals Past Dismissal


This past September it was thought that Nirvana had won the lawsuit filed against them by the man who appeared as a naked infant on the cover for their diamond-certified 1991 album “Nevermind“. That man, Spencer Elden, filed suit against the band and several others back in August of 2021, alleging that the legendary grunge group and associated parties had used the photo of him without his consent and that the shoot amounted to child pornography. It has been stated that his parents were financially compensated for the shoot.

According to Elden, the image has caused him “lifelong damages”. Elden‘s initial suit also alleged that the associated parties involved with the album cover and photo shoot had engaged in child sex trafficking in orchestrating the photo, though those claims would later be dropped, when the suit was amended to a narrower list of defendants in November of 2021.

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In January of this year, Elden‘s suit was dismissed due to a lack of response from his legal team in the wake of a request for dismissal from the defendants. Elden would go on to revive that suit later that month.

In September of this year, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin dismissed the case without prejudice, citing concerns over the 10-year statute of limitations having long since lapsed. Now comes word that the 31-year-old Elden has newly appealed that dismissal.

Elden‘s legal team have opted to invoke Masha’s Law, which enables proven victims of child pornography to seek monetary damages into their adulthood. His legal team further feel that Judge Olguin ruled in error this past September.

According to Spin, an except from this newly filed appeal reads as follows:

“Courts have repeatedly held that distribution of child pornography infringes a victim’s dignity interests no matter the victim’s age at the time of distribution.”

The appeal also once again mentions journals of the late Nirvana vocalist/guitarist Kurt Cobain. Back in their November 2021 amendment of their suit, Elden‘s legal team said of those journals:

“Undated journals written by Cobain sketch the album cover in a sexual manner, with semen all over it. In several instances, the journals describe Cobain’s twisted vision for the Nevermind album cover, along with his emotional struggles: ‘I like to make incisions into the belly of infants then fuck the incision until the child dies.’”

In this newly filed appeal, those journals are once again brought up, alleging that Cobain “described his twisted vision for the ‘Nevermind‘ album cover as a manifestation of his emotional and sexual disturbances.” This latest appeal further alleges that:

Cobain’s preoccupation with pornographic imagery started at a very early age. One of Cobain’s school classmates discovered him drawing pornography as a young child.”

Furthermore, the suit alleges that Elden “is aware that Appellees are commercially exploiting the frontal nude image of him as a four–month–old child to sell a[n] album to millions of people (many of whom he does not know) around the world.

This understandably causes him extreme ongoing psychic or emotional injury for which he is entitled to damages and an injunction. Although this remedy will not rid the world of his sexualized image, it will provide him the means to get mental health treatment and give him the benefit of knowing that the distribution and repeated violation of his privacy by Appellees will finally stop.”

In the past versions of his suit against the band, Elden has sought $150,000 in damages from each of the several named defendants (which include the Cobain estate, Courtney Love, cover photographer Kirk Weddle, etc.).

His past legal requests also demanded that the group redact his genitalia on the album cover back in 2021 ahead of the 30th anniversary release of the album—a request that was not granted.

While it appears to no longer be the case, Elden has in the past wholly embraced his affiliation with the hit album, having gotten “Nevermind” tattooed across his chest, while also recreating the the cover art in a photoshoot that took place back in 2016.

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