Published on January 12, 2016
SEAN PENN has declared he has “nothin’ to hide” as Mexican authorities investigate his secret meeting with drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, months before the fugitive was recaptured.
The Oscar winner received some help from Latin actress Kate del Castillo as he attempted to set up his interview for Rolling Stone magazine, which was published online on Saturday (09Jan16).
In the article, Penn described his first meeting with the crime boss, revealing he and his associates were met by members of Guzman’s trusted entourage upon arrival at a small Mexican airport in October (15), and they were driven to the middle of a jungle, where the drug lord had been hiding out.
Penn noted his paranoia about possibly being watched by government officials in the piece, and on Monday (11Jan16), it was revealed just how closely they had been keeping tabs on both actors’ movements.
Editors at local newspaper El Universal published 10 photographs taken of the stars’ arrival, reportedly snapped with a long lens and obtained from a government intelligence file.
The report also suggests Del Castillo had been under surveillance ever since she met Guzman’s lawyers in Guadalajara in June (15). The fugitive, who escaped prison in July (15), had allegedly been seeking the actress’ help to develop his own biopic.
Guzman was re-arrested on Friday (08Jan16) after six months on the run, and Mexican officials subsequently revealed his meeting with Penn and Del Castillo had helped authorities track him down.
They have since expressed an interest in quizzing both stars about the clandestine visit, and Penn has now suggested he would be happy to meet with authorities.
In a brief email exchange with The Associated Press on Monday, Penn simply stated, “I’ve got nothin’ to hide,” when asked about the government images.
Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has offered up his thoughts on the secret interview, although he declined to comment on whether U.S. authorities would be helping their Mexican counterparts in their questioning.
“It poses a lot of very interesting questions, both for him (Penn) and for others involved in this… so-called interview,” McDonough told CNN.
Mexican officials are planning to extradite Guzman to the U.S., where he faces charges of “drug and arms trafficking, money laundering and murder in at least six states,” reports NPR.com.