Judge Dismisses Nirvana Baby Lawsuit

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A lawsuit over the photo on Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind was dismissed by a judge on Monday.

Spencer Elden, who was the naked baby on the cover, filed a lawsuit in August alleging that the band exploited him. He sought at least $150,000 U.S. each from Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic as well as Courtney Love, the executor of Cobain’s estate.

On Dec. 22, lawyers representing the surviving members of Nirvana and the estate of Kurt Cobain filed a motion to have the case tossed, claiming Elden spent three decades “profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby.’” They also claim the 10-year statute of limitations for a civil claim has expired.

Judge Fernando M. Olguin  of U.S. District Court in Central California dismissed the case “with leave to amend” after Elden’s lawyers missed a Dec. 30 deadline to file a rebuttal to the motion to dismiss.

Elden has until Jan. 13 to refile his complaint.

Elden was only four months old when his father Rick put him naked into the pool at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center for photographer Kirk Weddle, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit. Too young to swim, Elden managed to tread water long enough for the picture to be snapped. His parents collected $200 U.S.for the use of his image.

As an adult, he has recreated the image at least four times. To mark the album’s 25th anniversary in 2016, he posed for photographer John Chapple, who told iHeartRadio.ca at the time that Elden offered to go nude. “I didn’t know any publication that would use pictures of his junk,” said Chapple.

Elden has the album title tattooed on his chest.

“Listen, he’s got a Nevermind tattoo,” Grohl told Vulture. “I don’t.”

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