Sean Penn is hoping to clarify a few things about his notorious conversation with Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a meeting he now describes as a "terrible regret."
In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired on CBS This Morning Friday, Penn dismissed reports that his interview with El Chapo led to the kingpin's recapture as a "myth." (Mexico's Attorney General has described their meeting as "essential" to El Chapo's arrest.)
"There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I, with El Chapo, that it was ... essential to his capture," Penn said, pointing out that the meeting took place at the beginning of October, more than three months before El Chapo was re-arrested in January, at a location nowhere near the place where Guzman was taken into custody.
Penn says he believes the Mexican government has credited him with contributing to El Chapo's arrest because they want to put a target on his back.
Mexican authorities "were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did," Penn told Rose. "Well, nobody found him before they did. We're not smarter than the DEA or the Mexican intelligence."
In a Rolling Stone article about his discussion with El Chapo, Penn maintains that the meeting was prompted by the drug lord's interest in having a biopic made about himself, and that Penn wanted to discuss the War on Drugs. Penn was put in touch with El Chapo by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, whom El Chapo wanted to star in the film.
But the actor says his intentions backfired. "The entire discussion of this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy of the War on Drugs," Penn says. "My article has failed."
Rose's full interview with Penn will air on Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes on CBS. Watch an excerpt here:
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