Among other things, the plaintiff demanded $150,000 from ex-Nirvana members.
A federal court in the US metropolis of Los Angeles has repeatedly dismissed the lawsuit brought by the man whose baby photo adorns the album “Nevermind” by the band Nirvana, which has sold more than 30 million copies.
The plaintiff missed important deadlines to justify his claim, the responsible judge explained in the verdict published on Friday. The photo shows Spencer Elden, then four months old, naked and underwater in a pool.
Elden, who says he never received any money for the photo, had demanded $150,000 in damages from a total of 15 people, including former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love, the singer’s widow, who died by suicide in 1994 Kurt Cobain, and photographer Kirk Weddle.
Weddle captured the image of the baby swimming underwater and reaching for a dollar bill tied to a fishing bait hook at a 1991 pool party. The image became one of the most recognizable photos in pop history in the years following the release of Nevermind. The judge had already dismissed Elden’s lawsuit in January of this year, which he resubmitted a few days later.
Neither Elden nor his legal representatives have ever authorized the use of any images of him, the lawsuit said, and “certainly not any commercially used child pornography footage in which he can be seen.” The plaintiff suffered “extreme and enduring mental distress” and “lifelong loss of income.”
However, attorneys for the former Nirvana members and the other plaintiffs said Elden “had three decades of fame as a self-proclaimed ‘Nirvana baby’.” Among other things, he had the cover photo “re-taken several times for money”, had the word “Nevermind” tattooed on his chest and sold album covers signed by him on the online platform Ebay. He also tried to “hit on women” through his connection to the “Nevermind” cover.