Kate del Castillo accuses Sean Penn of using her as 'bait' for El Chapo interview: 'He never protected me'

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Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is accusing Sean Penn of using her as a pawn in his notorious interview with drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Del Castillo was present for a meeting between Penn and the kingpin in 2015 for a documentary or film the actress intended to make about Guzman's life. Months after the interview took place, Rolling Stone published Penn's interview with Guzman.

Speaking on “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” on Facebook Watch, del Castillo faulted Penn for putting her and her loved ones in danger. She also said the situation upended her life as she knew it, leaving her with financial issues and anxiety.

“He used me as bait and then he never protected me — and risked my life, my parents’ life, my sister’s life and everybody surrounding me,” del Castillo told Gloria Estefan, her daughter Emily Estefan and her niece Lily Estefan.


Kate del Castillo played a powerful drug cartel boss in the series “La Reina del Sur."

Lili Estefan referred to Penn's claim in his article that the group went through a military "checkpoint" after soldiers spotted a son of Guzman's. Del Castillo claimed it "wasn't true."

"He's an a–hole," the actress said. "He just put it there to sparkle a little bit of his stupid story. There was never a checkpoint. I hated him for that."

She went on to call Penn's article "full of s–t."

Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo made international headlines in 2016.
(Presley Ann/Getty Images)

Penn’s article made international headlines, while del Castillo was under investigation by the Mexican government for her meeting with Guzman. She ultimately fled to the U.S. — she received citizenship in 2015 — to avoid persecution.

The Estefans questioned del Castillo about past reports claiming she had a romantic relationship with Penn, to which she chalked up as only a physical encounter.

"When the story came out I never talked to [Penn] again," del Castillo said. "On the plane back, I was so excited for us. I had a champagne bottle. So we celebrated, both of us, and there was something there."

She continued: "They asked me if I had something romantic, if I had a relationship. No, I only had sex. It just happened."


The star said she was left feeling "so stupid and naive that I didn't see the whole thing. If I didn't have the American passport, I would be in jail."

She went on to say she has "no savings" and is still paying the Mexican government.

"I still do [have anxiety] and I sleep with my gun next to me," del Castillo said.

El Chapo famously escaped from two high-security prisons but was eventually captured in January 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017. Last summer, he was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes and is serving time in ADX Florence in Colorado.

Reps for Penn did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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