A judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Nirvana and Geffen Records of profiting off child pornography.
In August, Spencer Elden, who appeared as the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana's "Nevermind" album cover, claimed former members of the grunge band, as well as the executor of Kurt Cobain’s estate, record companies, art directors and others, violated federal criminal child pornography laws after "trafficking" his image worldwide, according to CBSLA.
In December the defendants jointly sought a dismissal of Elden's suit, Variety reported. Legal representatives noted that Elden was 4 months old when the photograph was taken but only registered major objections to the photo recently while spending "three decades profiting from his celebrity as the self-anointed 'Nirvana baby.'"
Judge Fernando M. Olguin, who presided over the case at the U.S. district court in Central California, dismissed the suit on Monday after Elden missed the Dec. 30 deadline that was set for him to oppose the defendants' motion to dismiss, according to documents obtained by Entertainment Weekly.
The dismissal was given "with leave to amend," meaning that Elden could still file a new complaint on the "defects" in the defendants' motion to dismiss, but he has until Jan. 13 to do so otherwise the suit will officially be dismissed.
In his lawsuit, Elden said that his "identity and legal name are forever tied to the commercial sexual exploitation he experienced as a minor which has been distributed and sold worldwide from the time he was a baby to the present day," according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court and cited by CBSLA.
The suit further states that the defendants "knowingly produced, possessed, and advertised commercial child pornography depicting Spencer, and they knowingly received value in exchange for doing so … despite this knowledge, defendants failed to take reasonable steps to protect Spencer and prevent his widespread sexual exploitation and image trafficking."
Nirvana attorneys’ motion meanwhile says "there is no doubt that Elden’s claims will fail on the merits."
"This Motion, however, does not address the merits," they say, according to Variety. "Rather, it addresses a separate problem. Elden’s claims fail, at the outset, because they are time-barred. Elden asserts two causes of action, one under the federal statute that permits victims of certain federal child pornography criminal offenses to sue for civil damages … and another under the federal statute that permits victims of certain trafficking crimes to sue for civil damages … Neither cause of action is timely. The Section 2255 claim has a ten-year limitations period and cannot reach an injury that Elden knew about before 2011."
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