NIRVANA have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Spencer Elden over the cover of the band’s “Nevermind” album.
When Elden first filed his lawsuit back in August against the surviving members of NIRVANA and the estate of Kurt Cobain, he alleged the photo of the baby reaching for a dollar in a swimming pool violated federal child pornography statutes and claimed child sexual exploitation.
After the lawsuit was filed, Elden requested his genitalia be removed from “all future album covers” on the 30th anniversary of the record.
NIRVANA, as well as Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, have now filed a motion asking the court to throw out the lawsuit, saying Elden’s claim is “not serious”
“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’,” reads the motion which was filed on Wednesday (December 22). “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title ‘Nevermind’ 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 motion adds: “Elden’s claim that the photograph on the ‘Nevermind’ album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious. A brief examination of the photograph, or Elden’s own conduct (not to mention the photograph’s presence in the homes of millions of Americans who, on Elden’s theory, are guilty of felony possession of child pornography) makes that clear.
“The ‘Nevermind’ cover photograph was taken in 1991. It was world-famous by no later than 1992. Long before 2011, as Elden has pled, Elden knew about the photograph, and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph. He has been fully aware of the facts of both the supposed ‘violation’ and ‘injury’ for decades.”
It goes on to say: “In addition to his child pornography claim, Elden has alleged that the creation of the photograph for the album cover art entailed the sex trafficking of Elden when he was a baby. Setting aside that this premise is absurd, the statute Elden invokes to cover conduct in 1991, became effective on December 19, 2003 and has no retroactive application to conduct by a defendant that pre-dates its effective date.”
Elden recently amended his lawsuit against NIRVANA to include the allegation that the hired photographer, who initially took the record sleeve cover, also shot pictures of Elden dressed up like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. The amended lawsuit also drops former NIRVANA drummer Chad Channing as a defendant.
According to Rolling Stone, Elden’s updated complaint cites journal entries from late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain to try to prove that photographer Kirk Weddle intended the album cover to be sexually based.
“Undated journals written by Cobain sketch the album cover in a sexual manner, with semen all over it,” the document states. “In several instances, the journals describe Cobain’s twisted vision for the ‘Nevermind’ album cover, along with his emotional struggles: ‘I like to make incisions into the belly of infants then fuck the incision until the child dies.’”