Sean Penn reportedly panicked over once cozy relationship with infamous drug lord El Chapo

Sean Penn is in trouble.

The 57-year old actor, best known for such films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Milk, is applying pressure to block or edit a Netflix documentary that suggests Penn informed the US Department of Justice of the whereabouts of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán while on his way to a secret interview with the infamous Mexican drug lord, as reported by TMZ.

The documentary is The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story, which premiered on Netflix Friday. Consisting of three episodes, the documentary details Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo’s highly-publicized clandestine meeting with El Chapo in 2016. Del Castillo was joined by Penn, who obtained a formal interview with the head of the Sinaloa Cartel that was later published by Rolling Stone.

Sources from the within the documentary’s production say that some of the people in the program suggest Penn told the DOJ about El Chapo’s location.

Mexican law enforcement arrived at the scene of the secretive meeting between the drug kingpin and the star just 12 hours after the interview ended. El Chapo was already gone, but he was captured three months later.

Penn is allegedly afraid that El Chapo’s associates will seek violent reprisal against the actor and his loved ones if they believe he had a role in the cartel leader’s arrest.

A spokesman for Penn said:

“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.

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

Penn’s lawyers are pushing, at the very least, for the removal of references to possible cooperation between the actor and authorities.

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But del Castillo’s team is pushing back. David Broome, the documentary’s executive producer, said “My concern is that we are taking an immense amount of pressure from all directions related to Sean Penn and currently Netflix has done a great job of hanging tough — but their nerves are on edge. I’m worried that there’s a chance Netflix hits the brakes for a while.”

Ironically, Penn apparently now fears for his life–even though he argued in his Rolling Stone piece that the US is wrong to “demonize” El Chapo. Penn wrote:

“[U]nlike many of his counterparts who engage in gratuitous kidnapping and murder, El Chapo is a businessman first, and only resorts to violence when he deems it advantageous to himself or his business interests.”

According to his own words, Penn has nothing to worry about.

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