The “Nirvana Baby” had filed a complaint against Nirvana and those involved in the handling of the band’s seminal album, Nevermind. Spencer Elder, who appeared as a baby on the band’s iconic album cover, is now 30 years old. His lawsuit claims that the band and photographer were involved with “child sexual exploitation” as he couldn’t consent to have himself plastered on the album cover as a naked baby. Well, after the drama of this lawsuit began to unfold, Judge Fernando M. Olguin of the District Court in Central California has now dismissed the case.
The case against Nirvana was dismissed when Elder failed to meet his deadline to file an opposition against the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. The deadline was on December 30th, and Elder quite simply didn’t submit his motion. That severely damaged his chance at currently winning the case. He had allegedly filed a complaint against the band’s surviving members which are Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love being that she is the executor of Kurt Cobain’s estate, Guy Oseary and Heather Parry who were music managers for the band’s estate, photographer Kirk Weddle, art director Robert Fisher, and the record companies that their hands in releasing the Nevermind album.
That is a ton of people to file a lawsuit against, but it appears as though the case will not go forward after Elder failed to follow up with the case. Now that the case has been dismissed, that is not necessarily the end of it all. Elder can still refile his complaint after Olguin left a caveat in the dismissal which is “with leave to amend.” This means that Elder can still go after all those named in the lawsuit, including the surviving members of Nirvana. Those involved were granted a dismissal based on the complaint being “time-barred.” This new deadline for Elder is January 13th. The world will have to wait and see if Elder even wants to go forward with his lawsuit. He could have simply given up considering the opposition likely has a much more powerful array of lawyers representing them.
Nirvana just celebrated Nevermind’s 30th anniversary in 2021. The album has some of their most popular songs within it including “Smells like Teen Spirit”, “Lithium”, and “Breed”. Nevermind is easily one of the most recognizable albums in rock history. Because of its fame, the band also stated that Elder was riding the fact that he could claim that he was the “Nirvana Baby.” His complaints are now unwarranted as his lawsuit hadn’t been brought up at any point in these 30 years.
Nirvana is still one of the most popular rock bands in the history of the genre, and it is likely they have a much more powerful legal team that is set to squash any sort of defamation case against them. Spencer Elder may have decided to let this go, but has yet to speak out about why he didn’t meet the deadline. For now, it’s assumed that the case against the band is closed.