‘Nevermind’ Cover Star Spencer Elden Appeals Child Pornography Suit Dismissal

The battle between Spencer Elden and Nirvana continues.

Elden, known better as the “Nevermind Baby” has filed an appeal to the September dismissal of his child pornography lawsuit against Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love, Universal Music Group, and Kirk Weddle, the latter who photographed four-month-old Elden for Nirvana’s 1991 album.

The now 31-year-old filed his lawsuit back in August claiming that Nirvana had engaged in a “sex trafficking venture” by distributing the photo and were intending to “trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer.” The defendants successfully filed a motion to dismiss the suit the following December, which Elden refiled weeks later. The suit was eventually dismissed in a “final conclusion” in September 2022.

Now, Spin reports Elden and his attorneys filed a new claim with California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals claiming the presiding judge, who ruled that a statute of limitations applies to the case, was incorrect because Elden is suffering ongoing harm from the photo. The filing also cites Masha’s Law, which states that victims of child pornography can seek monetary damages in adulthood, regardless of the statute of limitations.

“Courts have repeatedly held that distribution of child pornography infringes a victim’s dignity interests no matter the victim’s age at the time of distribution,” the appeal reads, which goes on to allege that frontman Kurt Cobain “described his twisted vision for the Nevermind album cover as a manifestation of his emotional and sexual disturbances” in “several journal entries.”

The appeal goes on to say that Elden “is aware that Appellees are commercially exploiting the frontal nude image of him as a four–month–old child to sell a[n] album to millions of people (many of whom he does not know) around the world. This understandably causes him extreme ongoing psychic or emotional injury for which he is entitled to damages and an injunction. Although this remedy will not rid the world of his sexualized image, it will provide him the means to get mental health treatment and give him the benefit of knowing that the distribution and repeated violation of his privacy by Appellees will finally stop.”

Elden’s recent court cases goes against his previous embracement of the cover, which he recreated in 2016 for the album’s 25th anniversary.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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