After a person sued the US-based group over the use of his naked photo as a fourth-month-old infant, Nirvana has won the dismissal of the “child pornography” lawsuit against the iconic 1991 album cover for Nevermind. The dispute arose from Nirvana’s use of a photograph by Weddle that showed Elden swimming naked toward a dollar bill punctured with a fish hook in the Pasadena Aquatic Center in California in 1991.
Elden replicated the photograph as an adult in 2016 with “Nevermind” tattooed on his chest after being interviewed about the photo by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 when he was 12 years old and claiming that he was “probably going to receive some money from it.”
In August of last year, Elden filed a lawsuit against Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love, the widow of late lead singer Kurt Cobain, photographer Kirk Weddle, record companies like Universal, and the band Nirvana. The attorney said that “Spencer’s genuine identity and legal name are eternally related to the commercial sexual exploitation he underwent as a youngster, which has been distributed and marketed globally from the time he was a newborn to the present day.”
Elden claimed that in addition to lowering his earning potential and causing him emotional suffering; the cover had also resulted into a “loss of enjoyment of life” for him. When he failed to respond to Nirvana’s request to dismiss the action in a timely manner in January, the matter was first dropped. The option to file an updated complaint was subsequently presented to him.
In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, Elden repeatedly replicated the image as an adult while also saying he was “probably going to collect some money” from the case. But Elden revealed the following in an interview with GQ Australia in 2016: “It has been a part of my life my entire childhood. But now I’ve been thinking, ‘What if I wasn’t OK with my penis being seen by everybody?’ I truly didn’t have a choice. “