A California judge on Monday granted a motion to dismiss a child pornography lawsuit brought by the man who once appeared as a naked baby on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album.
What are the details?
Spencer Elden, the 30-year-old man who was the famous naked baby on the hit band’s “Nevermind” cover, filed the suit in August according to previous reports, accusing the former band and others of promoting “lifelong damages” due to his appearance on the album cover.
In his suit, Elden said that band members Chad Channing, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and the late Kurt Cobain were complicit in knowingly producing, possessing, and advertising “commercial child pornography” in placing a nude photo of him as a baby on the hit album’s cover.
“[The] defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense,” a portion of the suit reads. “Defendants used child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilized in the music industry to get attention, wherein album covers posed children in a sexually provocative manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention, and critical reviews.”
Others named in the suit include Cobain’s window Courtney Love, photographer Kirk Weddle, University Music Group, Geffen, and more.
According to a report from USA Today, Elden and his legal team had until Dec. 30 to file an opposition to the defendants’ motion for dismissal, but did not do so.
As such, the outlet added, an oral argument — which was originally scheduled for Jan. 20 — was vacated.
In its request for dismissal, a legal team representing Grohl, Novoselic, Love, and Weddle insisted that Elden’s arguments had no merit, according to the BBC.
“Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious,” their lawyers said, and noted that anyone in possession of the album would, according to Elden’s theory, be “guilty of felony possession of child pornography.”
“He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title … tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women,” the defendants’ legal team added.
United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin, however, granted Elden and his legal team “one last opportunity” until Jan. 13 to amend his complaint before the suit is tossed out for good.
In a Tuesday statement obtained by the BBC, Elden attorney Robert Lewis said that the team planned to amend the complaint “very soon.”
Elden and his legal team initially requested a trial by jury as well as $150,000 from each of the 17 named defendants.
Elden — who, as an adult, has publicly recreated the cover several times — in 2015 told USA Today that the doors opened as a result of the cover provided a “really positive, fun experience.”