Man Pictured on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Album Cover Refiles Lawsuit After Case Was Dismissed

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Spencer Elden, the man pictured on Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover, has reportedly refiled his lawsuit after the case was dismissed earlier this month.

As previously reported, Elden filed a lawsuit in 2021 against Nirvana, the band’s record companies, Courtney Love, and others, including photographer Kirk Weddle over the album cover. He stated that the cover exposed his genitalia for profit. His parents never actually signed a waiver for the image. Elden also claims he never received any compensation for the image. He was seeking $150,000 from each defendant in the case. 

The original lawsuit reads, “Defendants knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer. And they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so.”

Unfortunately for Elden, U.S. District Judge, Fernando M. Olguin, announced on January 3rd that he granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The defendants’ legal teams say that Elden’s claims against Nirvana and others are “time-bar” by the statute of limitation. The attorneys also pointed out that Elden spent three decades profiting off his celebrity as the self-anointed “Nirvana Baby.” 

Nirvana’s attorneys then say that Elden has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee many times as well. “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; [Elden] has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.”

Nirvana’s legal team also declared that Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind cover is ‘child pornography’ is not considered serious. “A brief examination of the photograph or Elden’s own conduct makes that clear.”

Judge Gives Elden Last Opportunity to Amend His Complaint Against Nirvana and Others in ‘Nevermind’ Album Cover Lawsuit

Although he dismissed the case, Olguin stated that Elden would get one last opportunity to amend his complaint against Nivana and others by January 13th. And according to the Hill, he did just that. 

The media outlet reports in the amended lawsuit that the now 30-year-old is seeking at least $150,000 for damages related to the use of his naked baby image. The complaint named Nirvana as an LLC; the band’s drummer Dave Grohl; bassist Krist Novoselic; and Universal Music Group. Courtney Love, who is in charge of the estate for the late singer Kurt Cobain is also among the list of defendants. Elden also proclaims that Nirvana continues to feature a “lascivious” exhibition of Spencer’s genitals on the cover. 

The new complaint reads, “The conduct depicted, particularly the activation of Spencer’s gag reflex and the prominence and positioning of his genitals in the image. [It] suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity. The image was intended and designed to elicit a sexual response.”