A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the band Nirvana filed by a man who claimed that his depiction as a naked infant on the cover of their 1991 album, Nevermind, was "child pornography."
Spencer Elden, who was photographed as a 4-month-old for the image that would become the cover, filed the lawsuit in federal court in August 2021, claiming that he was the victim of "commercial sexual exploitation." Elden, now 31, asked for $150,000 in damages from 15 defendants, including living former band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic and singer Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, as well as Cobain's estate managers, photographer Kirk Weddle, and art director Robert Fisher.
In a decision published Friday, US District Judge Fernando Olguin dismissed the lawsuit because Elden had waited too long to file it — and ordered that he could not attempt to file a new version of his complaint.
"Plaintiff fails to allege that he knew of a violation that occurred while he was a minor or an injury that forms the basis of the claim within ten years of filing this action," Olguin wrote.
According to Reuters, when he was 12 years old in 2003, Elden told Rolling Stone that he was "probably going to get some money" from being on the album cover.
Bert H. Deixler, a lawyer for the defendants, told the New York Times that his clients were "pleased this meritless case has been brought to a swift conclusion."