As previously reported, Spencer Elden, the man who appeared on the cover art for Nirvana’s “Nevermind” as a baby, filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of the band, the estate of the late Kurt Cobain, photographer Kirk Weddle, and more last year due to child sexual exploitation and violations of federal child pornography statutes. Now, Variety are reporting that Judge Fernando M. Olguin has officially dismissed the suit.
Olguin, who was presiding over the case at the U.S. District Court in Central California, made his decision after Elden missed a December 30 deadline to file his opposition to the defendants’ motion to dismiss. However, the dismissal was made “with leave to amend,” so Elden will have a chance to issue a another amended complaint before January 13. If he fails to do so, the suit will be dismissed without prejudice. If he does make the deadline, the defendants’ lawyers will have two weeks to reply.
This news comes after Nirvana and Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Elden’s child pornography allegations are “not serious” and that they are “barred by the applicable statute of limitations.”
This news also comes after Elden previously amended the suit. The updated complaint, which no longer listed ex-drummer Chad Channing, Warner Music, Heather Parry, Guy Oseary as defendants, still claimed that the photo was meant to “trigger a visceral sexual response from the viewer.” It also went on to say that Weddle took other photos of Spencer, including ones which found him dressed as late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Some of Cobain‘s personal journals were cited as well.
Elden also claimed that the photo has caused “extreme and permanent emotional distress” and that his guardians never authorized its use. As a result, he was seeking at least $150,000 from each defendant.
Elden‘s lawyer Maggie Mabie was also demanding to have Universal remove his genitalia from all future releases of the album. However, the 30th anniversary edition of the record was still released with the cover intact.