Sean Penn’s memorable meeting with incarcerated Mexican drug lord El Chapo alongside actress Kate del Castillo is about the re-enter discussion thanks to a new Netflix series. The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story premieres Friday on the streaming service and isn’t being delayed by Penn, but that doesn’t mean he and his representatives aren’t upset by the documentary series, calling it “reckless” and “cheap.”
Penn wrote about the meeting with El Chapo for Rolling Stone, setup reportedly with the help of del Castillo under the guise of a possible film production about the drug lord’s life. There was much speculation at the time about how the two celebrities managed to track down the fugitive, but Mexican authorities claimed the meeting helped lead to the capture. This put a “target” on Penn and del Castillo’s back according to comments at the time, but there was also allegations that the meeting was connected to the Justice Department. It’s all contentious and it is why the Netflix series is so contentious according to The New York Times:
“It is reprehensible that, in their ongoing, relentless efforts to gain additional attention and publicity, Ms. del Castillo and her team (who have zero firsthand knowledge) have sought to create this profoundly false, foolish, and reckless narrative,” Mark Fabiani, a spokesman for Mr. Penn, said in an email. “The notion that Mr. Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted D.O.J. to the trip is a complete fabrication and baldfaced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened.”
According to producer David Broome, the documentary never states that Penn was “in cahoots with the DOJ” and adds that Penn’s associates “tried to put on pressure and demand we change the documentary.” Netlfix also released a statement addressing the comments from Penn, noting that he was given plenty of opportunity to view and comment on the film:
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.”
Sources over at Deadline tell a bit of a different story, claiming that Penn did see the documentary just “over a month ago” and reportedly did ask for the series to be “edited to more closely reflect what he said was the truth.”
No matter what his feelings are or if this is all some form of publicity, the series will be live on the streaming service on Friday without any edits. Folks can make up their minds for themselves, though they’ll likely be disappointed if they are tuning in to see more about Penn’s bodily fluids.