Mexican-born actress Kate del Castillo finally spoke out at length about her and Sean Penn's meeting with then-fugitive Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, claiming that parts of Penn's recollection of what led to the encounter aren't true.
In an article in The New Yorker that was available online Friday, del Castillo expresses frustration over Penn's lengthy Rolling Stone article following the meeting, which she said she didn't hear about until she and Penn were in the presence of the drug lord.
In the lengthy piece, Penn wrote that the group who traveled to meet Guzman — while he was on the run — was stopped at a military checkpoint, but allowed through when soldiers recognized Guzman's son, Alfredo Guzmán, who was traveling with the group.
"This scene, del Castillo maintains, did not occur; they didn’t go through any military checkpoint," The New Yorker article, by Robert Draper, said. Two producers traveling with del Castillo and Penn also don't recall the military checkpoint, according to the article.
Penn maintained to the New Yorker that his article is accurate. To The Associated Press, Penn said, "I stand by my piece.”
Del Castillo also said that, while Penn maintains he told her he intended the trip to be a journalistic endeavor, she was taken aback when he told El Chapo he had been assigned a Rolling Stone story about the infamous drug lord.
"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,” Penn said in a statement, according to The New Yorker.
The reason del Castillo says she traveled to meet Guzman was because he had signed over the rights to his life story to her and tasked her with creating some sort of movie, miniseries or documentary out of it.
Guzman had never met del Castillo, but was able to communicate to the outspoken actress, through his lawyers, that he admired her, The New Yorker reported.
“Maybe he thought I could understand his world, in a way,” del Castillo told The New Yorker.
Months after the actors and producers met with Guzman, he was recaptured by Mexican troops.
Mexican officials said that it was Guzman's communication with actors and producersthat helped them nail down his whereabouts. "I wanted to die," del Castillo told the New Yorker.
Del Castillo said she was left exposed when her name was excluded from a "journalist on assignment" letter that Rolling Stone's founder gave to Penn before the trip.
But she couldn't have asked to have her name on the letter because she didn't know about the article until the group got to Guzman, del Castillo said.
Amid the investigation, del Castillo is keeping a low profile in California. She said she still plans on following through with the making of a movie about El Chapo