Nirvana Say ‘Nevermind Baby’ Lawsuit Is ‘Not Serious’ In Call For Dismissal
Nirvana has argued the lawsuit brought against them by the so-called ‘Nirvana baby’ is ‘not serious’ as they call for it to be dismissed.
Spencer Elden became famous from a young age for appearing on the cover of Nirvana’s album Nevermind, where he is pictured swimming naked in a pool at just four months old.
For decades after the album was released, Elden appeared to play into his role as the ‘Nirvana baby’ with images and callbacks to his infamous picture, however, in August he sued Kurt Cobain’s estate alleging child pornography and sexual exploitation.
Elden, who is now 30 years old, has alleged neither he nor his legal guardians signed a release authorising the use of ‘any images of Spencer or of his likeness’.
Lawyers representing Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, photographer Kirk Weddle, UMG Recordings and Courtney Love, as executor of the Kurt Cobain estate, hit back at the claims as they filed a motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday, December 22, pointing out that Elden has only now raised objections about the use of the photo.
The lawyers have claimed Elden ‘spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’’ by recreating the photo for money, having ‘Nevermind’ tattooed on his chest and selling signed copies of the album on eBay.
In the filing, cited by Variety, they argued:
Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious.
A brief examination of the photograph, or Elden’s own conduct (not to mention the photograph’s presence in the homes of millions of Americans who, on Elden’s theory, are guilty of felony possession of child pornography) makes that clear.
As well as branding the suit as not serious, the lawyers noted it comes after the 10-year statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit involving alleged child pornography, meaning it could also be dismissed on these grounds.
Elden’s lawyers commented on the filing in a statement to Variety, claiming in part that Nirvana ‘exploited Spencer’s inability to consent as an infant’ in 1991 and today continue to ‘prioritize profits over our client Spencer Elden’s right to consent, to have privacy, and to feel dignity.’
Nirvana’s lawyers have requested that the case be dismissed on January 20, 2022.
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