A federal court in California has dismissed a lawsuit alleging the cover of rock band Nirvana’s 1991 album “Nevermind” constituted child pornography.

Spencer Elden, 31, who appeared nude on the album cover as a baby, has sued the band for alleged “commercial child sexual exploitation”.

However, his lawsuit was dismissed on Friday when a judge ruled that Elden had filed his complaint after the 10-year statute of limitations had expired.

“Accordingly, Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed without permission to amend,” Fernando M. Olguin, United States District Judge for the Central District of California, said in a ruling obtained by CNN.

Elden’s attorney told CNN that he plans to appeal the dismissal.

The cover of “Nevermind,” featuring the Elden boy swimming underwater, his eyes fixed on a dollar bill, has become one of rock’s most enduring images.

In the original lawsuit, filed on August 24, 2021, Elden’s attorneys said the image was pornographic and that he has suffered “lifelong damages” as a result of his participation.

Elden listed as defendants the surviving members of the band, the executor of vocalist Kurt Cobain’s estate and several record labels.

Following the dismissal of the lawsuit, a second amended lawsuit sought damages for what Elden called “lifetime loss of earning capacity, loss of past and future wages, past and future expenses for medical and psychological treatment, loss of the enjoyment of life and other losses that will be described and proven in the trial of this matter”.

The lawsuit alleged that Elden was sexualized because the image of the naked baby clutching the dollar bill made him look like “a sex worker.”

Elden has recreated the image on occasion during his adult life, but has also suggested in interviews that he was uncomfortable with the popularity of the album cover.