Court Says 'Nevermind' to Nirvana's 'Nevermind' Cover Lawsuit
Bad news if you're the now-adult baby on the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind or have been searching for a new court case to obsess over now that ex-Theranos CEO/staring contest champion Elizabeth Holmes' trial has ended – the controversial exploitation case over the iconic grunge album is essentially over before it ever truly began.
On Monday, California judge Fernando M. Olguin dismissed a claim from Nevermind's ex-infant cover star, Spencer Elden against several parties, including former band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as the estate of Kurt Cobain, alleging that the use of his image constituted child exploitation and pornography. Although according to Eldin's suit, the now 30-year-old stated that his parents did not authorize the group“the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness, and certainly not of commercial child pornography depicting him," the band brushed off these accusations. In their motion to dismiss the case, the band's representatives said that Eldin “spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby,'" and that the statute of limitations for this case lapsed more than 10 years ago. Judge Olguin ultimately dismissed the case, Spin reported, doing so “with leave to amend."
Now, for those of you, who much like Borat 2 star Rudy Guiliani, are not experts in the law, this means that although Elden and his legal team originally had until December 31 to refile the suit with amendments, they now face a new deadline of January 14. If they do, Nirvana's representatives would have a little less than two weeks to respond by January 27,
“Failure to timely file a Second Amended Complaint shall result in this action being dismissed without prejudice for failure to prosecute and/or failure to comply with a court order," the ruling said according to Spin.
Yet even more complex than the ruling is the history of this controversial cover itself. While Elden maintains that his involvement in the iconic cover led to his involvement in a “sex trafficking venture” in which he says he was “was forced to engage in commercial sexual acts while under the age of 18 years old," he once spoke very differently of the image.
"It's cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don't even remember," Elden told BBC News after recreating the image for its 25th anniversary in 2016. "It's strange that I did this for five minutes when I was four months old and it became this really iconic image."
Top Image: DGC