Thursday, December 23, 2021

Nirvana respond to Nevermind cover lawsuit

Nirvana have responded to a lawsuit that claims the band violated child pornography laws with the cover of their 1991 album, “Nevermind.”

30-year-old Spencer Elden originally took legal action this summer over allegations of child sexual exploitation based on the nude image of him as a four-month-old in a swimming pool featured on the project.

According to Billboard, Nirvana filed its first formal response to the lawsuit on Wednesday, saying that the suit was brought years after the statute of limitations had run out by a man who had long embraced the image.

“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby,’” the band wrote, noting that Elden had “re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee” multiple times and has the name of the album tattooed on his chest. The band even accused Elden of having “used the connection to try to pick up women,” citing a media interview in which he recounted such a story.

Federal child pornography law has a 10-year statute of limitations, which begins running from the point when a victim “reasonably discovers” the problem — meaning either the violation itself or the harm caused by it. For Elden, Nirvana said, that would mean he only discovered the image in 2011.

“But the Nevermind cover photograph was taken in 1991. It was world-famous by no later than 1992,” the band wrote. “Long before 2011, as Elden has pled, Elden knew about the photograph, and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph. He has been fully aware of the facts of both the supposed ‘violation’ and ‘injury’ for decades.”

“Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious,” the band wrote Wednesday, hinting at future arguments. “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.”

Read more about the latest in the case at

The original suit by Eldon sought damages of at least $150,000 from each of the 15 named defendants, who include surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; the managers of Kurt Cobain's estate; Cobain's former wife Courtney Love; and Weddle; a recently-revised edition drops former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing as a defendant in the case, and no longer names Warner Music, nor Heather Parry and Guy Oseary, who were previously listed as managers of Cobain’s estate.

This fall, Nirvana released a series of expanded editions of “Nevermind” to mark the project’s 30th anniversary, while the set’s smash single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, passed one billion streams on Spotify earlier this year.

See also:

Amended Nirvana Nevermind lawsuit cites Kurt Cobain journal entries
Nirvana stream unreleased 1992 live version of Lithium
Nirvana expand Nevermind for 30th anniversary reissues
Nirvana sued by Nevermind album cover baby
Search Foo Fighters at hennemusic
Search Nirvana at hennemusic