Actress Kate del Castillo — who joined Sean Penn on his October 2015 trek through the Mexican jungle to interview the world’s most famous fugitive — angered the two-time Oscar winner with today’s release of her Netflix docuseries, “The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story.” The New York Times reports that Penn’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., claimed in a letter last week that the three-part, Carlos Armella-directed account jeopardizes Penn’s safety by hinting the actor aided the Department of Justice in their January 8, 2016 capture of the notorious drug dealer. The next day, Rolling Stone published Penn’s 10,000-word chronicle of he and del Castillo’s trip.
“Blood will be on [Netflix’s] hands if this film causes bodily harm,” wrote Boutrous. In a separate, October 14 letter to the lawyer of del Castillo’s co-executive producer, David Broome, Boutrous wrote, “It is profoundly disappointing that Netflix and your clients have chosen to disregard the extreme danger they are knowingly creating.”
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Penn spokesman Mark Fabiani portayed del Castillo in an email to The Times as publicity hungry and uninformed, resulting in the series’ “false, foolish, and reckless narrative.” Penn originally declined to participate in the series, but after watching the footage sometime during the past month, he changed his mind and advocated for additional changes, which Netflix and the filmmakers did not accept.
Netflix released the following statement: “Penn was given the opportunity on multiple occasions to participate in ‘The Day I Met El Chapo’ and did not do so. The events surrounding the now-infamous meeting have been well covered, including by Penn himself in Rolling Stone and his many public comments since. The only new ground we’re breaking with this series is to give Kate a chance to finally tell her side of this stranger-than-fiction story.” Moreover, Bloom told The Times, “We never say in this documentary that Sean Penn is in cahoots with the D.O.J.”
Del Castillo played female drug lord Theresa Mendoza in “La Reina del Sur,” a Telemundo telenovela that aired for one season in 2011. Telemundo and del Castillo are currently at work on a revival, “La Reina del Sur 2,” set eight years after its predecessor. She also plays Mexico’s former first lady in Netflix’s Spanish-language thriller “Ingobernable;” season two arrives in 2018.
“The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story” is streaming now. Watch the trailer below.