Nirvana win Nevermind naked baby lawsuit after judge tosses out case (again)

·2 min read

Nothing can sink Nirvana.

On Friday, a California judge dismissed a child pornography lawsuit filed by Spencer Elden — who was photographed naked as a baby for the cover of the band's 1991 album, Nevermind — once again because Elden did not file the suit during the 10-year statute of limitations, Reuters reports.

"In short, because it is undisputed that [Elden] did not file his complaint within 10 years after he discovered a violation… the court concludes that his claim is untimely," U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin wrote in an eight-page ruling obtained by Rolling Stone.

The list of defendants in Elden's initial August 2021 complaint included former Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Chad Channing; Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and two other managers of his estate; album cover photographer Kirk Weddle and art director Robert Fisher; and Geffen Records, Warner Records, and Universal Music Group. Per legal precedent, Elden was asking for $150,000 in damages from each defendant.

In which three punk underdogs conquered mainstream America, destroyed hair metal, and defined a generation. Download it: Amazon iTunes
In which three punk underdogs conquered mainstream America, destroyed hair metal, and defined a generation. Download it: Amazon iTunes

Spencer Elden on the cover of Nirvana's album 'Nevermind'

This isn't the first time Olguin has tossed out Elden's suit against the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" stars. The judge previously shut down the case back in January but "with leave to amend" should Elden file another complaint addressing the "defects" in the defendants' motion to dismiss.

Now, the judge has given his final verdict on the matter. He added, "Because plaintiff had an opportunity to address the deficiencies in his complaint regarding the statute of limitations, the court is persuaded that it would be futile to afford plaintiff a fourth opportunity to file an amended complaint."

In his original filing, Elden claimed that the defendants "knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so."

In return, attorneys for Grohl; Novoselic; Weddle; Love; Cobain; Nirvana, L.L.C.; MCA Records; UMG Recordings, Inc.; Universal Music Group, Inc.; the David Geffen Company; and Geffen Records filed a motion to dismiss the case in December, per Variety.

They reportedly claimed that the statute of limitations had since expired and that Elden — who recreated the cover for the album's 25th anniversary back in 2016 — had "spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed 'Nirvana Baby.'"

Following the verdict, Bert Deixler, a lawyer for Nirvana, told Reuters, "We are pleased that this meritless case has been brought to a speedy final conclusion."

Elden's attorney and representatives for Nirvana and Dave Grohl did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment on the court's decision.

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