Kate del Castillo spoke with The New Yorker in recent days about her connection to drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera--El Chapo--and her account seems to differ significantly from that of actor Sean Penn.
The Mexican actress claims she didn't know Penn was working on a Rolling Stone article about El Chapo until the three of them met for the first time.
ABC's Diane Sawyer Has First Television Interview with Actress Kate del Castillo "El Chapo" Experience - ABC News - https://t.co/3lvQBWBZ7A
— Jessica Maldonado (@Jessimaldonado) March 12, 2016
Kate del Castillo told The New Yorker that one of El Chapo's lawyers contacted her about two and a half years after she tweeted about the drug lord in 2012. Del Castillo said the lawyer asked her to come to Mexico to talk about El Chapo's interest in creating a movie about his life. I
In September 2014, Kate del Castillo flew to Mexico City to meet with some of El Chapo's lawyers. They told her their client had tried to send her flowers after her initial tweet about El Chapo, but they couldn't find her address.
Kate del Castillo claims El Chapo wanted her to have the rights to his life story.
"Because you’re very brave," they told her. "Because you’re outspoken. Because you always tell the truth, even when it’s about the government. Because you come from a great family. And because he’s a fan of yours from La Reina del Sur."
Kate del Castillo stars in a telenovela series called La Reina del Sur.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 13, 2016
The actress says she received a letter from El Chapo clarifying his intentions about his life story.
"With respect to the rights, I want it to be clear that you are the one that decides everything that is done, what you want and what you don’t want," Kate del Castillo says the letter reads.
El Chapo signed his rights to the story over to del Castillo for a film that would be co-produced by Argentine producers Fernando Sulichin and Jose Ibanez.
After El Chapo broke out of prison last July, Sean Penn asked Sulicin to get him together with Kate del Castillo. They met for lunch. The actress tells The New Yorker she believed Sean Penn wanted to work on the film project with them.
This is the point at which Kate del Castillo and Sean Penn's stories differ.
When they first met, Sean Penn produced a letter from Rolling Stone saying he and the two producers were working on a story. Kate del Castillo was to serve as their translator.
“Kate was a valued partner in our journey, which was embarked upon with total transparency and full knowledge of our collective interests," Penn told The New Yorker. "From our first meeting, I discussed with her my intention to interview Joaquín Guzmán for an article in connection with the meeting that she facilitated. We discussed it again during the flight and the trip to Mexico with our partners.”
Kate del Castillo said Penn's claim he discussed the article idea with her at lunch that day is “total and complete bullshit."
She goes on to explain that by the time she met with Sean Penn to look over his first draft of the article, she realized he wasn't interested in the film project.
— Variety (@Variety) March 12, 2016
To this day, Kate del Castillo has issues with the way Sean Penn portrayed her in the Rolling Stone article.
She believes Penn made it seem like she had encouraged his connection with El Chapo prior to a conversation about a movie project. She also disagrees that the group went through "a military checkpoint on the way to their meeting with the drug lord."
Who is telling the truth? Who stands more to gain from this situation--Kate del Castillo or Sean Penn?
Did Sean Penn use Kate del Castillo to land his interview with El Chapo?