A year after Spencer Elden (aka the Nevermind baby) initially filed a lawsuit against Nirvana, the case has been dismissed. Judge Fernando M. Olguin ruled that the case, which argues the iconic album’s artwork is child pornography, was well past the statute of limitations (10 years) and dismissed it with prejudice. Elden is barred from re-filing the lawsuit; however, he will have the opportunity to appeal if he so decides.
There’s been a lot of back and forth in the case since it was originally filed last August. Elden originally claimed that the defendants “knowingly benefited and continue to benefit from their participation in Spencer’s commercial exploitation,” and that he was unable to give consent to use the photo (he was four months old when it was taken), and his legal guardians also didn’t give consent.
Now in his 30s, Elden has expressed both approval and dismay about being associated with the iconic Nirvana cover. But as recently as 2016, he recreated the pose and album art in a photoshoot.
Earlier this year, Nirvana’s counsel filed a motion for it to be dismissed. “This case must end,” their lawyers said in a statement at the time. Nirvana asked the court “for an order dismissing this action, with prejudice” and, once again, “on the ground that it is barred by the statute of limitations.”