Nirvana sued by man who was nude baby on album cover
LOS ANGELES — A 30-year-old man who appeared nude at 4 months old in 1991 on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album is suing the band and others, alleging the image is child pornography they have profited from.
The lawsuit, filed by Spencer Elden on Tuesday in federal court in California, alleges that Nirvana and the record labels behind “Nevermind” “intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.”
The lawsuit says Elden has suffered “lifelong damages” from the ubiquitous image of him naked underwater appearing to swim after a dollar bill on a fish hook.
It seeks at least $150,000 from each of more than a dozen defendants, including the Kurt Cobain estate, surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and Geffen Records.
E-mails seeking comment from representatives for the defendants were not immediately returned.
Elden is filing the lawsuit now because he “finally has the courage to hold these actors accountable,” one of his attorneys, Maggie Mabie, told The Associated Press Wednesday.
Mabie said despite the photo being 30 years old, the lawsuit is within the statute of limitations of federal child pornography law for several reasons, including the fact that the image is still in circulation and earning money.
Elden also wants any new versions of the album altered.
“If there is a 30th anniversary re-release, he wants for the entire world not to see his genitals,” Mabie said.
When the cover was shot, Nirvana was a little-known grunge band with no sense they were making a generation-defining album in “Nevermind,” their first major label release, whose songs included “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are” and “Lithium.”
Elden’s father was a friend of the photographer, Kirk Weddle, who took pictures of several swimming babies in several scenarios at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena, Calif.
Diane Warren assembled
album during lockdown
LONDON — If there was an award for not winning awards, Diane Warren would have won it.
The recording artist/songwriter is the most nominated woman in the history of the Academy Awards, and has lost out on the trophy 12 times — or as she puts it, she has “12 no Oscar Awards.”
Warren released her debut album Friday, with collaborations from friends old and new, including Celine Dion, John Legend, Ty Dolla Sign plus a bringing together of rapper G-Eazy and guitar legend Santana. She said the pandemic spurred her on, working alone in her studio with no distractions. She adds “no one was bothering me, all I did was annoy myself.”
Another benefit of working during lockdown meant it was easy to track down her collaborators: “Yeah, don’t tell me you’re too busy to get on a Zoom, come on. You’re sitting in your house, too,” she said, smiling.
Warren, who won a Grammy Award for 1988’s “Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now,” has penned global hits such as “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” for Aerosmith and “Un-Break My Heart” for Toni Braxton. With her debut, “Diane Warren: The Cave Sessions Vol. 1? Warren says this is the first time she’s put her own name to the songs.
JoJo Siwa to join same-sex
couple on ‘Dancing With Stars’
LOS ANGELES — Pop star JoJo Siwa will compete as part of the first same-sex pairing on “Dancing With the Stars” for the show’s upcoming 30th season.
Olympic gymnastics champion Suni Lee also is joining the cast, the rest of which will be announced on Sept. 8. ABC said Thursday the celebrities will find out which pro dancer they’ll partner with on the season premiere Sept. 20.
Siwa, an 18-year-old who has said she identifies as gay and queer, said the same-sex pairing signals to viewers that it’s OK to be your true self. She named Lindsay Arnold, Jenna Johnson and Britt Stewart as among the show’s regular pros she’d like to be paired with.
“I think it breaks a wall that’s never been broken down before,” she told an online gathering of the Television Critics Association. “It’s normal for a girl to dance with a guy, and I think that’s really cool, but it’s really special that now not only do I get to share with the world that you get to love who you love, but also you get to dance with who you want to dance with.”
Siwa noted that among the things to be worked out with her partner are who leads, how do they dress and what shoes do they wear.
“It’s going to give so much to people out there, people of the LGBTQ community, everyone, people who feel just a little different,” she said. “I want to make it OK for the people who come after me.”
Host Tyra Banks told Siwa she’s proud of the teenager and the show for allowing the pairing to happen.
“I think it’s going to save lives,” Banks said. “I think it’s going to change lives, and it’s going to make a lot of noise, and the noise that needs to be made.”
Len Goodman returns to the judging panel after taking last season off, joining Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough.
Banks is back for her second season after replacing Tom Bergeron, whose legion of supporters were critical of the former model’s performance.
Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen
resigns in wake of scandal
NEW YORK — Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen resigned Thursday in the wake of revelations that leaders of the sexual harassment victims’ advocacy group advised former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how to handle allegations made against him.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Tchen — the former chief of staff to Michelle Obama — said she’s “spent a career fighting for positive change for women” but she wasn’t the right person to lead the #MeToo-era organization at this time.
“I am especially aware that my position at the helm of TIME’S UP has become a painful and divisive focal point, where those very women and other activists who should be working together to fight for change are instead battling each other in harmful ways,” she wrote.
Tchen’s resignation comes on the heels of the departure of Roberta Kaplan, who stepped down as the chair of the board of directors Aug. 9.
Porn actor Ron Jeremy indicted on sex assault counts
LOS ANGELES — A grand jury has indicted adult film actor Ron Jeremy on more than 30 counts of sexual assault involving 21 women and girls across more than two decades, authorities said.
Jeremy, 68, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday to all of the allegations, which include 12 counts of rape.
The indictment, which was returned Aug. 19 and unsealed Wednesday, covers allegations dating from 1996 to 2019 with victims aged 15 to 51. The counts appear to be identical to charges filed against Jeremy last year, which he also denied.
In a tactical move also employed in their case against Harvey Weinstein, LA County prosecutors used secret grand jury proceedings to get an indictment that replaces the original charges, allowing them to skip a public preliminary hearing on the evidence and proceed to trial.