A Los Angeles, California, court on Friday dismissed the lawsuit filed by a man who appeared as a four-month-old baby on the cover of the Nirvana Nevermind album. Prosecutor Spencer Elden claimed that he was sexually exploited by the album’s authors.
Judge Fernando Olgen said Elden waited too long to sue him, given that he had known for more than a decade that the naked boy swimming behind the banknote on the hook was the same.
Elden demanded damages of at least $150,000 from everyone involved in the album’s production, from the musicians themselves to the photographer to record and distribution companies.
In 2013, Rolling Stone magazine interviewed 12-year-old Elden about the photo. Elden said he might “make some money out of it”. Three years later, he was photographed underwater, wearing shorts and tattooed on his chest with the words “Never Mind”. However, in his lawsuit filed last August, he claimed that the photo made him feel uneasy, lost his ability to learn and could not enjoy life for long.
Reuters reported that Elden’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the ruling. “We are pleased to see this trivial case reach a swift conclusion,” said attorney for the defendants, Bert Dexler.
On the album Nevermind, for example, is the song Smells Like Teen Spirit. It has sold more than 30 million copies.
Elden’s parents received a one-time payment of $200 for the photo and did not sign any contract to use it. Elden said he has repeatedly reached out to the band members in a friendly manner in the past, but never received a response.