Nirvana has officially shut down the lawsuit of child-pornography and sex-trafficking that one Spencer Elden, the 30-year-old man who appeared on the cover of Nevermind as a baby – levied back in August. Dave Grohl also recently revealed Top 15 Songs of Nirvana.
Niravana slams the lawsuits
Elden had previously alleged in his original suit which was filed against the members of Nirvana, the band’s namesake company, Universal Music, and others – that the defendants had “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography” with the iconic cover photo of Nevermind, which has sold north of 30 million copies worldwide.
Elden therefore called for “restitution and disgorgement of all profits and unjust enrichment obtained as a result of” the Nirvana defendants’ allegedly “unlawful conduct” regarding the image. They did not agree with these demands and the associated lawsuit, though, Universal Music last month released a number of Nevermind 30th anniversary editions – complete with the original cover.
Finally, regarding the unique suit’s background, the case took a bizarre turn in early November, as an alleged intervenor defendant showed up. And that same month, Elden submitted an amended complaint that, while largely the same, placed a greater focus on Kurt Cobain’s alleged role in choosing the cover for Nevermind.
Nirvana defends “not serious” matter
The Nirvana defendants were attempting to dismiss the suit with prejudice, describing as “not serious” the idea that the Nevermind cover constitutes child pornography.
UMG, Nirvana, and others just recently submitted the corresponding motion, which follows an evidently futile meeting between their counsel and the plaintiff’s attorneys on Monday, December 13th. The document emphasizes that both the “alleged violation of the federal child pornography statute” and the “alleged violation of the federal sex trafficking of children statute” are “barred by the applicable statute of limitations.”
“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby,’” the firmly worded text proceeds. “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; 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; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.”
On the sex-trafficking aspect, in addition to the aforementioned statute of limitations argument, UMG and the other defendants state that the corresponding statute went into effect in 2003, and it contains “no retroactive application to conduct by a defendant that pre-dates its effective date.”
“As the law precludes Elden from advancing a private cause of action for sex trafficking under a statute that did not exist at the time of the alleged trafficking,” the text states, “he has no ability to pursue this claim—full stop.”
Lastly, detailed examples (including interviews) that aim to demonstrate Elden’s longtime knowledge of the album cover, the filing for good measure takes aim at potential “violations of the child pornography statute that occurred on or after August 24, 2011, e.g., a mailing of a copy of the ‘Nevermind’ album after 2011” – though Elden “has not yet” made such an argument.