Nirvana flares up again in ‘Nevermind’ child lawsuit – Billboard

Nirvana is protesting a recent lawsuit alleging that the band violated child pornography laws with the iconic image of a naked baby on its cover. Never mind, deemed the case “not serious” and said it was filed more than a decade late.

Lawsuit appeared in the headlines in August when it was submitted by Spencer Elden, a 30-year-old man appears in the image as a child. He claimed that the 1991 album cover – one of the most famous in rock and roll history – contained “commercial sexual exploitation” of minors.

In the band’s first official response to the lawsuit, Nirvana said Wednesday that Elden’s case has a serious flaw: It was filed more than a decade after the statute of limitations expired, by a The man has long embraced the image.

“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity self-anointing ‘Nirvana Baby’,” the band wrote, noting that Elden had “reenacted the photo in exchange for a fee” much times and has the name of the album tattooed on his chest. The band even accused Elden of “using connections to try to find women,” citing a media interview in which he recounted one such story.

The federal child pornography law has a 10-year statute of limitations that take effect from the time a victim “reasonably discovered” the problem – that is, the violation itself or the harm caused by the act. For Elden, Nirvana said, that means he only discovered the image in 2011.

“But Never mind the cover photo was taken in 1991. It became world famous no later than 1992,” the band wrote. “Long before 2011, as Elden promised, Elden knew about the photo and knew that he (and no one else) was the child in the photo. He has been fully aware of the facts of both ‘breach’ and ‘injury’ for decades. ”

Originally released on September 24, 1991, Never mind reached the top of the Billboard 200 in January 1992 and eventually spent 554 weeks on the chart. The album has sold over 30 million copies and is considered by many to be one of the most influential in the history of popular music.

The album cover – an image of a naked child swimming in a pool chasing a dollar on a hook – has long been interpreted as a scathing criticism of greed and capitalism. But in a lawsuit filed in August, Elden claims it’s something else entirely: the “pornographic” display of minors’ genitals is prohibited under federal law on pornography. children.

“Spencer’s real identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor.

Wednesday’s filing may be just the first in an effort to dismiss Nirvana’s lawsuit. If unsuccessful, the band is likely to make a more fundamental argument: that the image has absolutely nothing to do with child pornography.

Child pornography laws cover sexually explicit images of minors, but they generally don’t apply to more innocent nude images of children, such as images of a child at home in a bathtub. The band will assume that the clear image is more like the latter.

“Elden claims that the photo above Never mind album cover is ‘child pornography’ which, in its face, is not serious,” the band wrote Wednesday, alluding to future arguments. or Elden’s own conduct (not to mention the presence of photographs in the homes of millions of Americans who, according to Elden’s theory, is guilty of possessing child pornography) make it clear.”

An attorney for Elden did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday. Nirvana flares up again in ‘Nevermind’ child lawsuit – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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