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In a statement through Penn’s lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., the actor said the streaming giant is “hereby on notice that blood will be on their hands if this film causes bodily harm,” reported the New York Times.
The three-part series is the biographical account of Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and follows the events of an October 2015 meeting between del Castillo, Penn and infamous drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as El Chapo. Penn famously wrote about the encounter in a Rolling Stone article after the drug lord was arrested, and the series bills itself as telling del Castillo’s side of the story, using never-before-seen footage and new details of what led to the infamous meeting. Del Castillo is an executive producer on the series, which is co-produced by her Kate del Castillo Productions banner.
Per the Times report, the letter was sent a week ago, claiming that the docuseries would put Penn in danger and that immediate changes should be made. The letter claims the series implies Penn helped authorities capture El Chapo.
Penn was not involved in the making of The Day I Met El Chapo, which launched on Netflix Friday, but did view a screener and no changes were made to the series despite his requests, he claims. The actor is briefly included in the latest trailer, which is below.
“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,” Mark Fabiani, a spokesperson for Penn, told the Times and reiterated in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “The notion that Mr. Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted D.O.J. to the trip is a complete fabrication and baldfaced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened.”
Producer David Broome told the Times the documentary does not say Penn is “in cahoots with the D.O.J.,” and in a statement, Netflix told THR what it had also released to the Times for the story.
“Sean Penn was given the opportunity on multiple occasions to participate in The Day I Met El Chapo and did not do so,” said the streamer in a statement. “The events surrounding the now-infamous meeting have been well covered, including by Penn himself in Rolling Stone and his many public comments since. The only new ground we’re breaking with this series is to give Kate a chance to finally tell her side of this stranger-than-fiction story.”
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