'Nevermind' Cover Baby's Child Pornography Lawsuit Against Nirvana Reinstated by US Appeals Court

Spencer Elden's lawsuit was initially dismissed in December 2021

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Dec 21, 2023

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has given new life to Spencer Elden's child pornography lawsuit against Nirvana, who had him photographed naked as a baby for the now-infamous cover of Nevermind

An official statement shared by the court today provided some insight into their decision to reinstate the suit, writing: 

"The panel held that, because each republication of child pornography may constitute a new personal injury, Elden's complaint alleging republication of the album cover within the ten years preceding his action was not barred by the statute of limitations." 

They concluded:

"Because Elden's claim is not barred by the ten-year statute of limitations set forth in § 2255(b)(1)(B), the district 16 ELDEN V. NIRVANA L.L.C. court erred in granting Defendants' motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds."

Elden, now 32, originally filed the lawsuit in August 2021 against surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl as well as Courtney Love (representing the estate of Kurt Cobain), Universal Music Group, Geffen Records, MCA Records and the photographer behind the cover, Kirk Weddle. It was dismissed in December of the same year. 

"[When] I go to a baseball game and think about it: 'Man, everybody at this baseball game has probably seen my little baby penis,'" Elden once said. "I feel like I got part of my human rights revoked."

Shortly after the initial filing, Grohl brushed off the claims.

"I feel the same way most people do in that I have to disagree. That's all I'll say," he asserted. "Listen, he's got a Nevermind tattoo." 

As part of his lawsuit, Elden has requested that any potential re-release of Nevermind be shared with different cover art. 

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