US court reinstates lawsuit over Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album cover

today26/12/2023 10

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An appeals court has revived a years-long case stacked against Nirvana, accusing the band of sexual exploitation for the cover of their famed 1991 album ‘Nevermind’.

Spencer Elden, who appeared naked on the cover as a four-month-old baby, is suing for sexual exploitation and child pornography. The accuser is now 32-years-old.

The lawsuit was dismissed in September 2022 after defendants including band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic won the case, as well as Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, The Kurt Cobain estate, photographer Kirk Weddle, and several record labels.

Read this next: Dave Grohl responds to ‘Nevermind’ baby’s $150k sexual exploitation lawsuit

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has now overturned a lower court’s ruling that the accuser waited “too long” to forward the case after he was previously told by a judge that he should have come forward within 10 years of learning of the album cover.

Although the case has been revived, the court has not addressed whether the cover constitutes child sexual abuse or child pornography.

Nirvana’s lawyer, Bert Deixler, said on Thursday that the accused will “defend this meritless case with vigour”, adding: “This procedural setback does not change our view”.

Read this next: Nirvana win ‘Nevermind’ album cover lawsuit

Elden had filed three versions of this complaint, but following Judge Olguin’s dismissal last year, he was prevented from filing a fourth lawsuit. This could now change due to Nirvana’s rerelease of their ‘Nevermind’ album in 2021 for the record’s 30th anniversary.

The accuser’s lawyer, Robert Lewis, said that Elden is “very pleased” with the court’s decision and that he “looks forward” to returning to court.

In prior court cases, Elden claimed that he was a subject of child sexual exploitation and that the band had “knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised” his image without his parent’s permission. He asked for $150,000 in damages, but lawyers asserted that the case was “not serious”.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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