Nirvana gets ‘Nevermind’ naked baby lawsuit dismissed

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Nirvana has won the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a man who claimed his depiction as a four-month-old naked baby on the cover of the band’s 1991 seminal album, “Nevermind,” was child pornography.

In a ruling on Friday, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles said Spencer Elden waited too long to claim Nirvana sexually exploited him, having sued more than 10 years after learning about the cover.

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Other defendants included Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, the late singer Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, several record labels and photographer Kirk Weddle.

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The lawsuit stemmed from Nirvana’s use of a photo Weddle took in 1991 at the Pasadena Aquatic Center in California, which depicted Elden swimming naked toward a hook-pierced dollar bill.

Elden was interviewed in 2003 at the age of 12 by Rolling Stone magazine about the photo, saying he was “probably going to make money out of it”, and recreated the image as an adult in 2016 with “Nevermind” tattooed on his chest.

He nevertheless claimed in his trial, which began in August 2021, that he met the statute of limitations because his injuries, including emotional distress, loss of earning capacity and “loss of enjoyment of life” , continued into adulthood.

The judge rejected this argument, saying it would effectively allow Elden to sue Nirvana indefinitely.

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“In sum, plaintiff is not alleging that he was aware of a violation that occurred while he was a minor or of an injury that forms the basis of the claim within ten years of the filing. of this action,” Olguin wrote.

Elden had filed three versions of his complaint, and Olguin’s dismissal prevents him from filing a fourth.

An attorney for Elden did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Bert Deixler, a lawyer for the defendants, said: “We are pleased that this baseless case has been brought to a speedy final conclusion.”

“Nevermind” features the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Sales exceeded 30 million.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)


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