Nevermind, Nirvana Won The Lawsuit

The band wins the case against "Nirvana baby" Spencer Elden.


In 1991, Kirk Weddle photographed the infant Spencer Elden swimming naked in a pool in Pasadena, California. Add the Nirvana logo, the title ‘Nevermind’ and a dollar bill on the end of a fish hook and you have one of the most famous album covers of all time.

Thirty years later however Spencer would attempt to sue the band, and the photographer for $150,000, citing that the nude image was overly explicit and resulted in life long damages to him and his mental health, which led to him seeking therapy.

Yet, the Judge for this case promptly decided to turn Elden and his legal team away for the lack of time he chose to file his suit against Nirvana, given how long he’s been aware of the album cover.



This was a point made by the representatives of Nirvana who cited the many occasions where Elden had seemingly profited from the celebrity of being ‘the Nirvana baby’, referencing multiple times he recreated the photo as well as the fact he had the album title tattooed on his chest.

It must be regrettable however, that he and his family were only paid $200 for the initial photo. Although on a major label at the time, Nirvana were not the mainstream giants that the album would ironically make them, so there wasn’t a formal long term agreement for the photo, despite the album selling over 10 million copies in the United States alone.

It’s wrong to comment on Elden’s mental state, as people will have realisations and regrets constantly, especially over things they can’t control, but in a legal case he has made it hard for himself to be sympathised in the judicial manner.

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