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Nirvana Hit With Second Complaint Over Nevermind Art

Spencer Elden's original suit was initially dismissed in December
Nirvana (photo: Gutchie Kojima / Shinko Music / Getty Images)

Hey wait, he’s got a new complaint. Nearly two weeks after a judge dismissed his initial suit after missing a deadline to respond to Nirvana‘s request to dismiss, Spencer Elden has filed paperwork in U.S. District Court of Central California.

The second amended complaint, as obtained by SPIN, says that the suit is seeking “damages arising out of each Defendant’s violations during the ten years preceding the filing of this action and since, of federal child pornography and commercial child exploitation statutes.”

Once again, the suit names Nirvana, Universal Music Group and photographer Kirk Weddle as defendants. Elden is seeking damages of $150,000 per defendant and attorney fees. The suit also claims that Elden is seeking damages due to the “injuries Spencer Elden (“Spencer”) sustained during the ten years preceding the filing of this action, and injuries he has sustained since then. Again, the suit claims it has had “ongoing commercial child sexual exploitation of him.”

The second amended complaint only focuses on the past 10 years. The sex trafficking claim was removed.

A few weeks ago, Judge Olguin dismissed the case because Elden’s legal team failed to respond to the opposition. Elden’s team had until January 13 to file a second amended complaint.

In their initial filing, and in addition to saying Elden profited from his celebrity, Nirvana also said that the statute of limitations for the suit expired over a decade ago. They also argued that this isn’t child pornography.

Elden’s attorney, Robert Y. Lewis, provided SPIN with the following statement.

“Marsh Law Firm filed a Second Amended Complaint in Spencer Elden’s ongoing case against Nirvana, Universal Music Group, and others. These revised and updated pleadings include critical new information about the creation of Nirvana’s controversial Nevermind album cover. These documents reveal images and materials which expose the Nevermind creators’ deliberate choices to commercialize and exploit the sexually explicit photo lasciviously depicting Spencer’s genitals.

“This unprecedented album cover is perhaps the first and only time a child’s full-frontal nudity has been used to sell a product. Spencer’s image constitutes child pornography and each of the Nirvana Defendants robbed our client of his dignity and privacy. As long as the entertainment industry prioritizes profits over childhood privacy, consent, and dignity, our client will continue his pursuit for awareness and accountability.”

Nirvana has until January 27 to reply to the refiled suit.

As recently as 2016, Elden recreated the now-iconic pose and album art in a photoshoot.