Sean Penn battles with Netflix over 'El Chapo' documentary series

"[B]lood will be on their hands."

That's what Sean Penn’s lawyers are saying about Netflix in regard to their release of a documentary series about drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman which, they warn, could put the Academy Award-winning actor in danger.

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., Penn’s lawyer, wrote a letter to Netflix explaining that the release of “The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story” could potentially put Penn in danger because the series implied the actor helped the Department of Justice apprehend the notorious head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, The New York Times reported.

Boutrous told the streaming service in the letter, “blood will be on their hands if this film causes bodily harm.”


The documentary series focuses on Mexican actress Kate del Castillo's experience with interviewing Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The documentary series focuses on Mexican actress Kate del Castillo's experience with interviewing Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (Reuters)

The series, which was released Friday, focused on del Castillo, a Mexican actress, and Penn’s October 2015 meeting with Guzman. Penn wrote an article for the Rolling Stone detailing the interview, which was facilitated by del Castillo. The essay was published a day after the drug lord was recaptured in Mexico.

Penn claimed he had nothing to do with Guzman’s recapture.

While promoting the documentary series, del Castillo told “Good Morning America” Friday that she had sex with Penn during the filming.

“I never fell for him. We had sex. We’re both adults, single, and something was going on, but that was it. It was business,” del Castillo told “Good Morning America.”

Last year, Penn told Charlie Rose that he met the drug lord in a “place nowhere near where he was captured.” He also told Rose the accusations that he helped in Guzman's capture were “incorrect and could put him in danger.”

“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,” Penn’s spokesman told The New York Times.


“The notion that Mr. Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted DOJ (Department of Justice) to the trip is a complete fabrication and boldfaced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened.”

Netflix responded that Penn was “given the opportunity on multiple occasions to participate” but he did not. Netflix reiterated the documentary does not reveal any new information but gave del Castillo her chance to tell her side of the story.