A California judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against former Nirvana band members for their iconic It does not matter album cover.
Spencer Elden for follow-up former band members in August 2021 for child exploitation and pornography, claiming the band knowingly distributed a nude photo of him as a baby on the 1991 album cover and profited from it. Elden was just four months old when he was photographed for the cover. Now 30, he was claiming $150,000 in damages.
The defendants in the case – which included former members of the band, as well as the estate of Kurt Cobain, photographer Kirk Weddle, Universal Music, Geffen Records, Warner Records and MCA Music – filed a motion to dismiss the case last month.
Elden had until December 30 to respond to the motion, but his legal team missed the deadline and so the case was dismissed.
California Central District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin said Elden and his legal team have until Jan. 13 to take over the case. If the defendants file another motion to dismiss, the two sides will meet on January 20.
“Pursuant to the court order, we will be filing a second amended complaint in the very near future. We are confident that Spencer will be permitted to proceed with the matter,” Marsh Law, the firm representing Elden, said in a statement.
In their motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the defendants claim that Elden benefited from his presence on the album cover as a baby and benefited from it as an adult.
“Elden spent three decades enjoying his stardom as the self-proclaimed ‘Nirvana Baby.’ on the chest; he appeared on a talk show wearing a nude-colored jumpsuit that parodies himself; he autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he used the hookup to try to flirt women,” the defendants said.
In November, Elden’s legal team released a statement in response to the album’s 30th anniversary, when the cover was reissued.
“It is high time to finally put an end to the child exploitation and violation of privacy that our client has endured his entire life,” they wrote.
A version of this story originally appeared in the morning edition live blog
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