He might have made news headlines in a more negative light last week, but actor Sean Penn has hit back against his interview with drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán for Rolling Stone magazine.
Penn’s article has received mixed press. For some his actions are illegal and require punishment. For others, he is another example of gung-ho journalism, producing off-the-wall and risque written press.
— CBSN (@CBSNLive) January 15, 2016
“Let me be clear, my interview failed,” said Penn in a televised interview with channel CBS in response to his proposed project with the kingpin.
El Chapo escaped from his cell in Mexico’s El Altiplano prison through a tunnel under his shower last July 11. He currently faces charges in six U.S. states and potential extradition from Mexico.
“We aren’t more intelligent than the DEA,”
“There’s one thing that we know: we know that the Mexican government was humiliated by the idea that anyone would find him (El Chapo) before then,” the actor commented.
“Well, no one found him before them. We didn’t. We aren’t more intelligent than the DEA or Mexican intelligence. We made contact thanks to the fact that we were able to arrange an invitation.”
Along with actress Kate del Castillo, Penn has been slammed for his links with El Chapo, prior to his much televised arrest on January 8. Yet, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has hit back against the world’s media, defending Penn.
“I understand Sean Penn. He’s been an activist for over 30 years and has written lots of articles. He’s very curious and is attracted by controversial figures. He has every right to search for El Chapo,” the director said, daily Excelsior reported.
Yet despite previously stating he has nothing to hide, Penn has since expressed “terrible regrets” for his secret interview with Guzmán, according to BBC Mundo.
“I have terrible regrets that the entire discussion in relation to how the discussion (with El Chapo) has been perceived, it was meant to contribute to the discussion in relation to the politics against the War on Drugs.” The actor added.
El Chapo’s legal team
What of El Chapo’s response to the article? Guzmán’s lawyer Juan Pablo Badillo has since hit back against Penn’s “absurd claims.”
“This certainly complicates (his defense). Mr. Penn should be called to testify in relation to all the stupid claims he has put forward,” Badillo commented.
“(El Chapo) wouldn’t make such statements.”
And what of actress Kate del Castillo? For now she remains rather quiet in relation to her links with Guzmán, as the media storm surrounding the drug lord continues to rage on.