‘Nevermind’ Baby’s Lawsuit Against Nirvana Has Been Revived
The issue goes back to the band’s legendary 1991 album Nevermind. Its cover memorably featured a naked baby floating in a pool, lured in the water by a dollar bill hooked on a fishing line. The image became one of the most identifiable of the era, however in adulthood Spencer Elden, the cover’s infant model, has taken legal action against the band.
In 2021, Elden sued Nirvana and Kurt Cobain's estate claiming they "knowingly produced, possessed and advertised commercial child pornography.”
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Elden’s suits have been previously dismissed on multiple occasions, most recently in September 2022. “Because plaintiff had an opportunity to address the deficiencies in his complaint regarding the statute of limitations, the court is persuaded that it would be futile to afford plaintiff a fourth opportunity to file an amended complaint,” Judge Fernando Olguin ruled at the time.
Now, Elden’s lawsuit has once again been revived.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court's decision to toss the lawsuit, reasoning that the statute of limitations had not passed because the Nevermind cover was republished in 2021 for the album’s 30th anniversary. According to TMZ, the court “held that each republication of the cover may constitute a new injury to Elden,” thus enabling the now-32 year-old to continue his lawsuit.
What Dave Grohl Thinks About the 'Nevermind' Album Cover Lawsuit
Asked about Elden's previous legal actions, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl expressed indifference. “I think that there’s much more to look forward to and much more to life than getting bogged down in those kinds of things,” the rocker explained in 2021. “And, fortunately, I don’t have to do the paperwork.”
Still, Grohl did suggest that the cover could be changed for future releases.
“I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover but we’ll see what happens,” Grohl admitted. “We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good.”
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Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin