Nirvana wins court battle after being sued by man who starred as baby on iconic album Nevermind cover

5 September 2022, 08:24 | Updated: 5 September 2022, 08:42

The Nirvana album cover has been at the centre of a dispute
The Nirvana album cover has been at the centre of a dispute. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

The man who was pictured as a naked baby on the cover for Nirvana's Nevermind album had failed in his bid to sue the band over it.

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Spencer Elden said it was tantamount to child pornography but a judge in the US decided he had waited too long to make the claim over the hit 1991 recording.

The image was taken at the Pasadena Aquatic Centre, in California, that same year and depicts the infant swimming towards money on a fishing hook.

Mr Elden's lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, previously claimed the snap should be considered "child pornography" as the inclusion of money in the shot makes the baby appear "like a sex worker".

"Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense," the lawsuit said.

The defendants included Dave Grohl, the former Nirvana musician who now fronts Foo Fighters, and Courtney Love, who was Kurt Cobain's wife, alongside record labels and the photographer.

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Judge Olguin said: "In sum, plaintiff fails to allege that he knew of a violation that occurred while he was a minor or an injury that forms the basis of the claim within ten years of filing this action."

Defence lawyer Bert Deixler said: "We are pleased this meritless case has been brought to a speedy final conclusion."

The album is one of the all time classics in music, featuring legendary Nirvana songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit, In Bloom and Come As You Are.