Nirvana yesterday won the lawsuit over the four-month-old naked baby on the cover of the album Nevermind (1991). In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles said prosecutor Spencer Elden waited too long to allege that Nirvana had sexually exploited him by posting his photo on the album cover.
Elden, now 30, sued the band in August 2021. He claimed that the image was child porn and that he was too young at the time to give permission to be naked on the album cover. Elden also stated that he has suffered from the fact that he is naked on the cover of the album Nevermind all his life. He therefore demanded a hefty compensation from the band.
Elden would have stood a chance, according to the judge, if he had only discovered in the past ten years that he is the baby on the album cover, but he would have known it for much longer. He nevertheless claimed in his lawsuit that he met the statute of limitations because his distress, including emotional distress, loss of earning power and “loss of joy in life” continued into adulthood.
The judge rejected that argument, saying that this would, in fact, allow Elden to sue Nirvana indefinitely. In summary, the plaintiff does not claim that within ten years of filing this action, he was aware of any violation that occurred while he was a minor, or of suffering that forms the basis of the claim,” Olguin writes.
Other defendants included Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, various record labels and photographer Kirk Weddle.