Beloved Mexican actress Kate del Castillo offered never-before-told details of her account of her harrowing 2015 meeting with drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo‘ Guzmán and Sean Penn during a new interview on Red Table Talk: The Estefans.
During the chat with Gloria Estefan, cousin Lili, and daughter Emily, Kate also admitted that she and Sean did have sex after the ordeal, a rumor which dominated Latin American media at the time.
‘He used me as bait, and he never protected me. And risked my life and my parents’ life and my sister’s life, and everybody surrounding me,’ she told the Estefans.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Penn’s representatives regarding del Castillo’s accounts.
Betrayed: Mexican actress Kate del Castillo claimed Sean Penn used her as ‘bait’ to get his 2015 interview with drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán while sitting down for an intimate conversation on Red Table Talk: The Estefans
Lied to? del Castillo claims Penn never told her of his intention to interview the drug lord for Rolling Stone
Kate, an international superstar, caught the eye of El Chapo after making a defiant tweet about corruption in the Mexican government.
‘Today I believe more in El Chapo Guzman than in the governments that hide truths from me,’ she wrote back in 2012.
She appeared to address Guzman again in a later tweet, telling the drug trafficker and murderer – who has been accused of taking over 3000 lives – to ‘traffic with love.’
Little did she know, del Castillo was already the object of Guzman’s affection.
After he was rearrested in Guatemala in 2014 and sentenced to 20 years in jail, his lawyers approached the actress while he was behind bars, hoping to get her help telling his life story.
‘My life changed,’ she told the Estefans of the tweet.
‘…’Everybody was [like] “You have to delete the tweet,”‘ but after ‘re-reading’ it over, she was sure there was ‘not one word’ she didn’t stand by.
Driven by her passion for storytelling, Kate decided she was willing to talk to Guzman and she connected with his people during a secret trip
After that she got the attention of producers Fernando Sulichin and Jose Ibanez for the project. It was after that when Penn got involved.
Behind closed doors: During the chat with Gloria Estefan, cousin Lili, and daughter Emily, Kate also admitted that she and Sean did have sex after the ordeal, a rumor which dominated Latin American media at the time
Serious stuff: After Guzman reached out asking Kate to tell his life story, she connected with Penn through two Hollywood producers who were also interested. The group eventually ventured to Mexico to meet Guzman together
Chaotic: After Sean allegedly sprung the interview on her, she said she was told the group was staying at the compound overnight, only to be evacuated out in the middle out the night
Del Castillo was hoping Penn would give the film some Hollywood heft after the project was left in limbo following El Chapo’s 2015 escape from prison.
During one of her meetings with Sean he suggested they meet up with Guzman. Though risky, Kate decided to reach out to El Chapo’s people once more for the sake of the story.
They were happy to connect with del Castillo, who said she’d be bringing the pair of producers as well as Penn – who she revealed Guzman’s lawyers actually had to Google for the crime boss.
They then flew out on a private plane – which Kate paid for – from Van Nuys, California to Guadalajara, Mexico, where they were picked up by Chapo’s crew a taken to a clandestine location.
After ‘hours’ of driving, she was greeted directly by Guzman, who seemed enamored with the actress.
Sean, however, was eager to get El Chapo to talk and allegedly pushed del Castillo to ask Guzman for an interview – something Kate claimed they’d never discussed before.
‘I was like, “Wait, this was not on the script,”‘ she told the Estefans.
‘He threw you under the bus there,’ Gloria said.
Though shocked, del Castillo knew she couldn’t react much.
‘I could not do a face,’ she said. ‘Because he’s going to notice that something is wrong, and this guy [Penn] is going to be dead in just a blink of my eye.
Hellish: ‘My nightmare started there,’ Kate said
Embellished: ‘He’s an a**hole,’ Kate told the Estefans of Penn’s artcile. Referring to a part of the piece where he talked about an armed checkpoint that Kate claims was embellished
After Penn’s interview, the trip took a scary turn.
‘My nightmare started there,’ Kate said before talking about how El Chapo himself took her to the room she would be staying in that night.
‘We didn’t even know that we were gonna stay there,’ Kate remembered. ‘I thought I was gonna be raped, and definitely killed or something… he could have done whatever the hell he wanted, what can I do?’
Guzman, instead, said goodbye to del Castillo, telling her: ‘Well amiga, you’re not gonna see me again, because I’m taking off right now.’
Just hours after their parting words, Kate was woken up in the middle of the night and told to evacuate. According to del Castillo, less than 24-hours later the military swarmed the compound.
Though the times were harrowing, Kate said that Penn exaggerated many details in his Rolling Stone article.
‘He’s an a**hole,’ she told the Estefans, referring to a part of the piece where he talked about an armed checkpoint, that Kate claims was embellished.
‘I hated him for that, but that’s why his article is full of s**t.’
Before the article was published, Kate said the trying experience formed a connection between her and Penn.
She admitted: ‘On the plane back, we were only the both of us. And we were so excited, I had a champagne bottle. It’s like “we did it – and we are alive!”‘
‘So we celebrated, both of us… and there was something there,’ Kate said.
Intimacy: She claimed that while the pair did end up having sex there was nothing romantic between her and Penn
Her side: Sharing her own account, she later released her own documentary called The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story
Still, she insisted there was nothing romantic there, telling the ladies: ‘Let me tell you something. They asked if I had something romantic, if I had a relationship — no. I only had sex. It just happened.’
The controversial article sparked scandal before it was even published.
Months after the interview, El Chapo was found and arrested. The Mexican government claimed that tracking Castillo and Penn’s trip was integral to finding Chapo.
The interview – the drug lord’s first public chat – was rushed to publication shortly after.
Kate was dismayed to read how Sean recalled the events, telling the Estefans: ‘When the story came out, I never talked to him again. I was totally destroyed. It was crushing me every single day for months.’
Later she went on, saying: ‘He used me as bait, and he never protected me. And risked my life and my parents’ life and my sister’s life, and everybody surrounding me.’
Afterwards she was smeared in the media, branded as Chapo’s accomplice and lover. Eventually things became so bad she eventually had to flee her native country of Mexico to avoid persecution and preserve the safety of her family.
Sharing her own account, she later released her own documentary called The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story.
El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence at United States Penitentiary Florence ADMAX near Florence, Colorado after being found guilty of a number of criminal charges related to his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel in US courts in 2019.
Behind bars: El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence at United States Penitentiary Florence ADMAX near Florence, Colorado after being found guilty of a number of criminal charges related to his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel in US courts in 2019. He’s seen in 2017 above