Kate del Castillo Rips Sean Penn on ‘Red Table Talk’: ‘He Used Me as a Bait’

Kate del Castillo on Red Table Talk: The Estefans (Credit: Facebook Watch)

Mexican actress Kate del Castillo tore into her former lover Sean Penn, on Wednesday’s installment of Red Table Talk: The Estefans.

After taking a seat at the red table with Gloria Estefan, Lili and Emily Estefan, del Castillo told the harrowing stories of the night she met drug kingpin El Chapo, her intimate moment with Penn, and she explained why she believes the Oscar-winning Milk star used her to get an interview with the Sinaloa Cartel boss.

Del Castillo became a household name in Mexico as the lead of some of the country’s hit telenovelas in the 1990s. She crossed over to the U.S. as the lead in Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur, which is the network’s best-performing series.

Her roles gained her fame and adoration, including from one of the world’s most notorious criminals—Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Sean Penn and El Chapo (Credit: Rolling Stone)
Rolling Stone included pictures and video in its coverage of Sean Penn’s meeting with El Chapo. (Credit: Rolling Stone)

In 2012, del Castillo sent out a tweet about El Chapo that was seen around the world.

“They call it the El Chapo tweet or whatever. It was not to El Chapo, it was not directed to El Chapo at all. It was an open-heart manifesto. And I was saying about what I believe in and what I don’t believe in, and I said I believe more in someone like El Chapo that you at least know straightforward who he is, than all the criminals that are in our government,” the actress told the Estefans.

Del Castillo suddenly became the only person El Chapo trusted to share his story. His team of lawyers contacted the actress at her parent’s house and invited her to meet and talk about producing a movie. She said she hopped on a plane alone to meet them and didn’t tell anyone where she was going.

“I get to Toluca (Mexico) and I see two guys in their suits… they’re saying ‘Well the guy wants to give you the rights of his story/life.’ And I’m like ‘Okay that’s great, but just so you know — I am going to tell the truth, not his fairy tale story,’” she continued. “And he’s like ‘that’s exactly why he picked you…’”

She met with two Hollywood producers who brought Sean Penn onto the project and Penn suggested they meet with El Chapo.

Del Castillo told El Chapo’s lawyers she was bringing two producers and Sean Penn to their next meeting in Mexico. She rented a private plane in 2015, and traveled from Van Nuys, Calif., to Guadalajara, Mexico and the group was picked up by El Chapo’s team to meet the fugitive drug lord.

“El Chapo opened the door for me and I didn’t recognize him… He told be ‘Amiga bienvenida’ (Welcome, friend) and he called me amiga right away,” del Castillo said.

At the time of their meeting, El Chapo was hiding in the Mexican jungle after escaping from prison.

The actress said she had barely met Penn a few weeks before, and didn’t know what he was going to say next. “Suddenly Sean starts saying, ‘Tell him that I want to interview him for Rolling Stone magazine,’ and I was just like, ‘Wait this was not on the script,’” she shared.

“Ok, so you were blindsided by that, obviously,” Emily Estefan observed.

Del Castillo then described when El Chapo left that night and how the rest of her team had to flee quickly.

A short time later Mexican authorities raided El Chapo’s mountain hideaway, but he managed escape again. Penn later wrote in his article, “There is no question in my mind but that the DEA and the Mexican government are tracking our movements.”

On the plane ride back to the U.S., del Castillo and Penn became intimate, and she said it was only for that night.

“He used me as a bait. And then he never protected me. And risked my life and my parent’s life and my sister’s life and everybody surrounding me,” del Castillo said.

When they returned, Penn filed his story with Rolling Stone and added embellishments, she said.

“He just put it there to sparkle a little bit of his stupid story. There was never a checkpoint,” del Castillo said. “I hated him for that, but that’s why his article was full of s–t.”

Watch the full episode of Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans below, to hear more about the ordeal following the news of the secret meeting with El Chapo and the serious repercussions from the Mexican government.