Actress Kate del Castillo says in an article published Sunday that she only met secretly with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman for a project to document his life in a movie, and denied suggestions she had received any money from the drug lord.
Del Castillo wrote of the meeting in a first-person article published in the Mexican weekly newsmagazine Proceso. She explained how she was contacted by the capo’s attorneys, the discussions leading up to the encounter and ultimately her October 2015 meeting with Guzman and American actor Sean Penn in a remote area of northeastern Mexico.
The Proceso article comes just two days after The New Yorker magazine published part of an interview with the actress. It was the first she had given to any medium about the meeting with the drug lord.
“What I wanted to do was document the life of a man named enemy number one by the most powerful nation in the world,” she wrote.
Guzman, known as the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was captured on Jan. 8 after a nearly six-month manhunt following his escape last July from a maximum security prison through a tunnel built under his cell. It was his second such escape from a penitentiary.
The actress wrote that the capo’s attorneys contacted her via email in 2014 and later met with her. The lawyers said that “El Chapo” wanted to give her the rights to tell his story in a movie, one that she would also appear in.
“Why me?” the actress recalled asking.
“Because he admires you, respects you, and fully trusts you,” she said one of the lawyers told her.
Del Castillo told of the trip she made Oct. 2 with Penn and two producers to meet with Guzman. One of the capo’s sons met the group at a hotel and then took them on a journey by land, air, and land again.
Mexican authorities have said they were investigating whether Guzman gave money to Del Castillo’s tequila company. Officials here have also sought to interrogate the actress, although they have said they consider her a witness not a suspect.
In a second article published in Process on Sunday, Del Castillo denied that the capo had given money to her to make the movie, or to her company.
“I have never received money from Mr. Guzman,” she said.