A lawsuit filed by the man who modelled as a baby for Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album cover has been dismissed — for now. Spencer Elden was 4 months when he was photographed nude in a Pasadena swimming pool back in 1991. As an adult, Elden tried suing the band on child pornography charges this past August.
The suit, which was most recently amended in November, alleged that the band had subjected Elden to “commercial child sexual exploitation,” that left the now-30-year old man with “damages” he will suffer through for the rest of his life.
“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,” the complaint read.
“Defendants used child pornography depicting Spencer as an essential element of a record promotion scheme commonly utilised in the music industry to get attention,” the suit went on. “Wherein album covers posed children in a sexually seductive manner to gain notoriety, drive sales, and garner media attention and critical reviews.”
As part of the suit, Elden was seeking at least $US150,000 ($207,000) from each of the defendants: surviving band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Cobain’s estate executor Courtney Love, and Cobain’s estate managers Guy Oseary and Heather Parry. The photographer and art director behind the shoot were also named, along with a handful of record companies that distributed the album over Elden’s lifetime.
Some of those defendants moved to have the suit dismissed in late December. Elden’s attorneys were scheduled to file an opposition motion to keep the case moving forward about a week after their filing — and Elden’s team just… blew past it. This led California District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to throw out the case because Elden’s team missed their deadline to reject the dismissal.
Olguin is giving Elden’s team another chance — this being their third — to amend, and refile the complaint. This time, Elden was given until January 13th to “carefully evaluate the contentions” that the Nirvana team pointed out.