A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Nirvana over the cover to Nevermind after the plaintiff, Spencer Elden, missed a December 30th deadline to respond to the band’s motion to dismiss.

Elden, who was famously photographed as a baby on the cover to 1991’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit in August 2021 against the band’s surviving members, Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, and Nirvana associates. Elden, who is now 30, alleged that the image of his four-month-old self underwater with exposed genitals was meant to be sexual in nature and “trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer,” which caused him to suffer “injuries” and “lifelong damages.” In addition to seeking monetary compensation, Elden requested that the cover artwork be changed for all future re-releases of Nevermind.

Nirvana’s surviving members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well Love, filed a motion to dismiss Elden’s lawsuit on December 22nd. They argued that the suit was “not serious,” filed years after the federal statute of limitations had run out, and stood in stark contrast to Elden’s previous embracement of the cover.

“Elden has spent three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed ‘Nirvana Baby’,” read the motion. “He has reenacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title ‘Nevermind’ tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women.”


Elden and his lawyers had until December 30th to respond to Nirvana’s motion. Because he missed the deadline, on Monday, January 3rd, the judge in the case granted Nirvana’s motion and vacated future hearings.

Elden has the option to refile the lawsuit, but he must do so by January 13th.

Consequence has reached out to Elden’s representatives for comment.