Nirvana (and Kurts’ estate) has been found not guilty of child pornography in a case brought by a man who was featured as a youngster on the cover of their album Nevermind.
Spencer Elden, who is now 31 years old, had filed a lawsuit last year against the two members of the band who are still alive, as well as the estate of Kurt Cobain, several record labels, and photographer Kirk Weddle. In the suit, Elden asserts that neither he nor his guardians gave their permission for his image to be used on the album, Unilad reports.
He also claimed that the cover was in violation of federal child pornography statutes, claiming that the iconic photograph of him swimming nude in a pool when he was a newborn displays a sexualized picture of a kid. He based this claim on the fact that the photograph was published on the cover.
Nevertheless, the United States District Judge Fernando Olguin of the Los Angeles division decided that Elden’s legal proceedings was brought far too late, since the statute of limitations for such claims is ten years.
The following statement may be seen written by the judge in official court records acquired by the music outlet Billboard: “Because it is undisputed that plaintiff did not file his complaint within ten years after he discovered a violation that could form the basis for his [child pornography] claim, the court concludes that his claim is untimely.”
Following the filing of a petition to dismiss the lawsuit in December 2021, attorneys for Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Weddle, UMG Recordings, and Courtney Love, in her capacity as executor of Kurt Cobain’s estate, made remarks that were taken into consideration when making the decision.
In a similar fashion, the legal team challenged why Elden waited until now to address concerns about the photograph, saying that he ‘spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed “Nirvana Baby”.’
The fact that Elden’s third iteration of the lawsuit was thrown out implies that he is unable to submit a fourth iteration of the case, despite the fact that he legally has the right to appeal the judgment.
As Elden’s father was acquainted with Weddle, the latter offered to pay the family $200 to submerge the infant in a pool at the Pasadena Aquatic Center in California for the purpose of taking a photograph. Elden had just turned four months old at the time.
Elden had previously asserted that the artwork on the 1991 album caused him to endure ‘extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations,’ as well as ‘interference with his normal development and educational progress,’ and ‘lifelong loss of income earning capacity,’ despite literally profiting and gaining notoriety off his affiliation with the cover.
He made these claims as a result of the fact that he asserted the artwork prevented him from making “normal development and educational progress.”
In wake of the legal case, many observers have focused their attention on how Elden’s sentiments about his relationship with the album artwork have evolved over the years. Prior to the court proceedings, Elden had reproduced the picture as an adult and had the title of the record inked on his breast.
In the past he has said in a 2015 interview with The Guardian, that “It’s always been a positive thing and opened doors for me.”
But a later on, speaking GQ Australia, he revealed that he’d changed his mind about the cover and that he had become ‘p***ed off’ with the cover, describing the use of his image as ‘f***ed up’.
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