Elden’s lawsuit has been extensively criticized, in no small part because Elden–prior to its filing–seems to have actively embraced his status as the so-called “Nirvana baby.”
Just days after his initial complaint was dismissed by a California judge, Spencer Elden—who appeared as a naked infant on Nirvana’s iconic “Nevermind” album—has refiled a lawsuit alleging the image “constitutes child pornography.”
According to USA Today, a California court dismissed Elden’s first lawsuit, which had been filed in U.S. District Court in August.
Elden’s complaint, as LegalReader.com reported at the time, was discarded on a technicality. However, Elden has since been granted “one last opportunity” to file an amended complaint, which was handed over to the courts on Thursday.
The latest rendition of the controversial lawsuit includes new “images and materials which reveal 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,” Elden’s attorneys said. “Spencer’s image constitutes child pornography and each of the Nirvana Defendants robbed our client of his dignity and privacy.”
USA Today notes that Elden’s refiled lawsuit names band members Dave Grohl, Chad Channing, and Krist Novoselic as defendants, alongside the estate of the late Kurt Cobain. Collectively, Elden accuses the defendants of knowingly producing, possessing, and advertising “commercial child pornography” by publishing a photograph of a nude, infant Elden swimming underwater for the “Nevermind” cover art.
“During the 10 years preceding the filing of this action, each Defendant intentionally commercially marketed the child pornography depicting Spencer and leveraged the lascivious nature of his image to promote the ‘Nevermind’ album, the band, and Nirvana’s music, while earning, at a minimum tens of millions of dollars in the aggregate,” the lawsuit claims.
Elden’s attorneys told USA Today that their client “will continue to suffer damages as long as the violations described above persist.”
His lawsuit seeks $150,000 from each of the lawsuit’s total 17 named defendants, which include the band members and the Cobain estate as well as record companies Universal Music Group, Geffen, Warner, MCA Music, and the album’s photographer and designer.
“As long as the entertainment industry prioritizes profits over childhood privacy, consent, and dignity, our client will continue his pursuit for awareness and accountability,” Elden’s legal team said in a statement.
Elden has attracted widespread criticism for his lawsuit, as the man has a history of using his status as the so-called “Nirvana baby” to generate publicity and earn money. According to Nirvana’s own attorneys, Elden has even bragged about his appearance on the “Nevermind” cover to “pick up women.”
Elden also has a “Nevermind” tattoo across his chest, and has featured in multiple, paid recreations of the iconic image for the album’s anniversaries.