ControversyMusic News

Remember the Nirvana baby lawsuit? It’s back.

For years, Spencer Eldon dined out on the fact that it’s his picture on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. The photo was taken in 1991 when he was four months old. His image–taken by Kirk Weddle–was chosen from a variety featuring babies tossed into a pool. (Don’t worry; they were happy swimming babies.) He even got a Nevermind tattoo.

But then a few years ago, he decided that the use of his image–specifically the display of his baby dingus–caused irreparable harm to his mental health. The allegations say he was “extensively exploited by the Defendants who have knowingly possessed, transported, reproduced, advertised, promoted, presented, distributed, provided, and obtained commercial child p**nography depicting [Elden].”

Lawsuits against Nirvana, their label, and the photographer commenced. The case was dismissed and appealed several times, the most recent being about a year ago.

But now the lawsuit has been reinstated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. I quote: “Elden’s complaint does allege new injuries, stemming from the Defendants’ redistribution of the album cover during the ten years prior to the action.” That includes the 30th anniversary reissue of Nevermind. “Because Elden’s claim is not barred by the ten-year statute of limitations set forth in § 2255(b)(1)(B), the district 16 ELDEN V. NIRVANA L.L.C. court erred in granting Defendants’ motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds.”

Eldon wants financial compensation and changes to the Nevermind artwork for any future re-releases. More details can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38291 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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