After months, Nirvana’s lawyers have finally responded to the lawsuit made against them in the summer by Spencer Elden, who appeared on the cover of their Nevermind album as a baby. #nirvana #album #music
Elden filed the lawsuit against the band in Aug., accusing them of engaging in child pornography for using a picture of him naked as a baby on the cover of the bands breakthrough album.
Elden says that he suffered "permanent harm” because of the photo, which was taken when he was just four months old, as well as emotional distress and a "lifelong loss of income-earning capacity”. Details regarding the losses were not provided in the lawsuit, but would be disclosed in trial.
One of his lawyers, Maggie Mabie, stated that Elden has been going to therapy for many years now to work through how he has been affected by the album cover. Though in the decades following the original photo, Elden recreated it clothed for several of the album’s anniversaries, he says that he eventually realized that taking part in the celebration of his part in the album cover further exploited the image of him as a baby. Elden said that his feelings regarding the cover began to change, "just a few months ago, when I was reaching out to Nirvana to see if they wanted to be part of my art show,” where he was instead referred to managers and lawyers.
"Why am I still on their cover if I’m not that big of a deal?” Elden asked. Elden’s lawsuit was filed against the estate of Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love, as well as other parties. Elden claims that they all profited off of the naked image of him as a baby. He is seeking $150,000 from each of the 15 parties named in the complaint.
The band's lawyers have filed to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the two statutes that Elden filed his complaint under are both meritless and have been filed past the statute of limitations. They countered against Elden’s claims of, "extreme and permanent emotional distress” by claiming that he has been profiting "from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’” for three decades, including his recreating of the image.
Grohl, a former band member of Nirvana, responded to the lawsuit in an interview with Vulture in Oct. saying: "I don’t know that I can speak on it because I haven’t spent too much time thinking about it. I feel the same way most people do in that I have to disagree. That’s all I’ll say.” After, Grohl added that Elden has a Nevermind, tattoo when the interviewer brought up how Elden has recreated the cover image several times. In another interview with The Sunday Times, Grohl hinted that there are plans to alter the cover: "I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover, but we’ll see what happens. We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good”.
Nirvana’s lawyers have called for a hearing this month for their dismissal motion.