Dave Grohl hasn’t “spent too much time thinking about” the child exploitation lawsuit filed by Spencer Elden, who was famously photographed as a baby for Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album cover. However, Grohl would like to point out that he’s not the one with the Nevermind tattoo.
The former Nirvana drummer was asked about the lawsuit in a new interview with Craig Jenkins of New York. Seemingly heeding the advice of his attorneys, Grohl sidestepped the question as best he could, saying, “I don’t know that I can speak on it because I haven’t spent too much time thinking about it. I feel the same way most people do in that I have to disagree. That’s all I’ll say.”
But when Jenkins pointed out that Elden has re-created the photo several times as an adult, Grohl couldn’t help but respond, “Listen, he’s got a Nevermind tattoo. I don’t.”
Grohl previously addressed the lawsuit in an interview with The Sunday Times earlier this month. In that interview, he seemed to suggest a willingness to alter the artwork: “I have many ideas of how we should alter that cover but we’ll see what happens. We’ll let you know. I’m sure we’ll come up with something good.” However, Grohl said he was letting his lawyers deal with the lawsuit: “I think that there’s much more to look forward to and much more to life than getting bogged down in those kinds of things. And, fortunately, I don’t have to do the paperwork.”
Elden is suing multiple defendants — including Grohl, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, the estate of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Universal Music Group, and more — alleging 30 years later that the naked underwater image of him as a 4-month-old baby was child pornography and that using it as the album cover was child sexual exploitation. In addition to seeking monetary compensation, Elden is requesting that the cover artwork be changed for all future releases of Nevermind, including the recently announced deluxe 30th anniversary reissue set for a November 12th release.
Some legal experts have called the lawsuit “frivolous,” with one lawyer saying it undermines other child exploitation lawsuits. “It really is offensive to what we have all been doing in trying to protect children from the harm they are alleging here,” said lawyer Jamie White, who has represented clients victimized by priests, Boy Scout leaders, and former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.