Nirvana Issue Motion To Dismiss Child Pornography Lawsuit

One of the year’s strangest stories was the Nirvana baby lawsuit.

For those who aren’t aware, 30-year-old Spencer Elden – i.e. the baby depicted on the front of Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album floating underwater with genitals exposed – sued the band in August claiming sexual exploitation and child pornography.

While there is nothing light-hearted about the case (indeed, Elden claimed that he has experienced emotional distress as a result), critics have been quick to point out that Elden himself has celebrated the image in the past, recreating the same photo multiple times throughout his adult life.

Now the band has added their voices to the pushback, this week filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and alleging that Elden has repeatedly sought to profit from the photo throughout his life.

“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’,” reads the motion.

“He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title ‘Nevermind’ tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay, and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.”

“Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is “child pornography” is, on its face, not serious. A brief examination of the photograph or Elden’s own conduct (not to mention the photograph’s presence in the homes of millions of Americans who, on Elden’s theory, are guilty of felony possession of child pornography) makes that clear.”

The band also points to the  10-year statute of limitations on child pornography laws in the US, which kicks in when the victim “reasonably discovers the violation itself or the harm caused by it.

“But the Nevermind cover photograph was taken in 1991,” state the defendants.

“It was world-famous by no later than 1992. Long before 2011, as Elden has pled, Elden knew about the photograph and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph. He has been fully aware of the facts of both the supposed ‘violation’ and ‘injury’ for decades.”

Elden is seeking $150,000 in damages for the image. Meanwhile, numerous lawyers have voiced their opinion that the case is unlikely to succeed.

Read the full motion here.

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