Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ album cover lawsuit accusing band of child pornography is dismissed

Peter Sblendorio
New York Daily News

A lawsuit accusing Nirvana of child pornography over the band’s “Nevermind” album cover, which features a nude baby, has been dismissed.

Lawyers for Spencer Elden, who was featured as a baby on the 1991 album’s cover, missed a deadline last week to respond to a recent filing by Nirvana, leading to the dismissal in a California court, according to SPIN magazine.

Nirvana band members Krist Novoselic, from left, Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain pose after receiving the award for best alternative video for "In Bloom" at the 10th annual MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 2, 1993, in Universal City, Calif.

Elden’s legal team can file another complaint by Jan. 13, as the lawsuit was dismissed “with leave to amend.”

The lawsuit was originally filed in August, claiming the “broad distribution of Spencer’s child pornography has caused him severe harm, including physical, emotional, reputational and financial harm.”

It also claims Elden, who is now 30, and his guardians never “signed a release authorizing the use of any images of Spencer or of his likeness.”

Nirvana’s legal team then asked for the lawsuit’s dismissal in November.

“(Elden) 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 band’s filing asserts, according to the BBC.

Elden’s lawyers had until last Thursday to respond to that filing. Their failure to do so resulted in the dismissal.

“Nevermind” was the second studio album released by Nirvana, an influential grunge band that featured late singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl.

Headlined by hits including “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are” and “In Bloom,” the album is preserved by the Library of Congress in its National Recording Registry.

Grohl recently suggested the “Nevermind” cover could change.

“I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover, but we’ll see what happens,” Grohl told The Sunday Times in an interview published in October. “We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good.”