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Nirvana baby Spencer Eldon appeals court’s dismissal of his third lawsuit against band

Spencer Elden featured naked on the front cover of the band’s ‘Nevermind’ album

Megan Graye
Thursday 08 December 2022 10:20 GMT
Chris Cuomo questions 'Nirvana baby' lawsuit

Nirvana Baby” Spencer Elden has appealed the court’s most recent dismissal for his child pornography lawsuit.

Elden featured on the cover of the band’s the legendary 1991 album Nevermind when he was just four months old, with the album art depicting a naked baby swimming to reach for a dollar bill.

In 2021, Elden filed a lawsuit claming that the album artwork causes him “extreme ongoing psychic or emotional injury”.

It was dismissed in September by a federal judge who claimed that the artwork did not constitute as child pornography and that Elden had waited too long to make the claims.

This was the third time Elden had filed a case against the band and had it rejected. After his case was dismissed, the judge told him he was not able to file again.

As a result, Elden has now appealed the dismissal. The appeal reportedly references Masha’s Law, which allows victims of child pornography to seek justice and compensation in adulthood.

Through his appeal, Elden seeks monetary compensation as well as demands that the band censor any forthcoming re-releases.

In a statement obtained by Spin, Elden’s appeal is reportedly on the basis that the 31-year-old is still facing ongoing harm from the coverwork.

“[Elden] is aware that Appellees are commercially exploiting the frontal nude image of him as a four–month–old child to sell a[n] album to millions of people (many of whom he does not know) around the world,” reads the appeal from Elden’s representatives.

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Nirvana’s album cover for 1991’s ‘Nevermind’ (DGC)

“This understandably causes him extreme ongoing psychic or emotional injury for which he is entitled to damages and an injunction.

“Although this remedy will not rid the world of his sexualized image, it will provide him the means to get mental health treatment and give him the benefit of knowing that the distribution and repeated violation of his privacy by Appellees will finally stop,” they added.

In his original lawsuit, Elden claimed that he was the victim of “child sexual exploitation” and that the artwork was a child sexual abuse image that had been “knowingly produced, possessed and advertised” by Nirvana.

The claims are against all members of the band, (Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain’s estate), the photographer Kirk Weddle and several record labels involved in the creation and distribution.

Elden previously tried to have the artwork censored for the 30th anniversary edition of the artwork, but failed to have this approved.

Dave Grohl, Nirvana’s drummer and Foo Fighters frontman has previously made the point that Eden has a tattoo in honour of the artwork.

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