Mexican actress willing to talk to authorities about 'El Chapo'

LOS ANGELES - An attorney for actress Kate del Castillo said Thursday she is willing to talk to Mexican authorities about her encounters with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and felt "betrayed" and "used" by actor Sean Penn, who wrote a lengthy article about his meeting with the drug kingpin after the actress introduced the two men.

See Full Article

The comments by Harland Braun, Del Castillo's U.S. lawyer, came after prosecutors in her native country issued an order for her to be located and brought in for questioning as part of a probe of possible money-laundering involving Guzman and the actress' tequila business.

Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez confirmed that a kind of summons had been issued for Del Castillo to testify. Gomez stressed she is officially considered a witness and has not been accused of any crime.

The clandestine meeting took place last October as Del Castillo explored the possibility of developing a movie about the capo, and Penn's Rolling Stone interview was published Jan. 9, a day after Guzman was recaptured in a raid in the city of Los Mochis.

"She didn't know Penn was going to write for Rolling Stone. Would you meet with 'El Chapo' and approve to have the interview for publication?" Braun said. "After the interview she had no choice about it. Once Penn and Guzman agreed on the article, what was she going to do? She signed off after they had done so."

"That's what made her feel really betrayed by these people," he said, referring to Penn and two people who accompanied him. "The three of them go together and basically used her and didn't tell her."

In Penn's Rolling Stone article, he was vague about whether he had told Del Castillo about the story prior to the meeting with Guzman.

"It was then that I posed the idea of a magazine story," Penn wrote. "Espinoza's smile of mischief arose, indicating he would arrange for me to meet Kate back in Los Angeles. At a Santa Monica restaurant, I made my case, and Kate agreed to make the bridge, sending our names for vetting across the border."

While Mexican officials have not sought to question Penn, Braun assured that Del Castillo is willing to talk.

"In the course of the investigation they are going to talk to her, right?" Braun said. "If we receive proper information and credentials, she'll talk to them. She's not hiding anything."

But Braun suggested she would prefer to talk in the United States, noting "there's a treaty in the U.S. that says that Mexico can come here and question people."

As far as reprisals - Mexican officials have said Del Castillo's contacts with Guzman helped them almost catch the drug lord in an October raid - Braun said she had no fear.

"We're not afraid of anything 'cause she didn't do anything to hurt anyone," he said. "She didn't do this to expose Mr. Guzman."

Braun said "the Mexican government knows that there's no money laundering."

"You can find out very quickly by looking financial records," he said.

He also denied there was any relationship between Guzman and Del Castillo.

The Mexican newspaper Milenio recently published a series of text messages between del Castillo and "El Chapo" in which the drug lord showed more interest in the actress than in Penn. The two had planned to meet again, and the messages sometimes veered into a flirting tone and gushing expressions of mutual admiration.

A federal official confirmed the messages were authentic.

"He obviously was a fan of hers. She was trying to encourage him because he wanted to make a movie about his life. That's it," Braun said. "They're obviously friendly but that's it."

"You would not, if you're trying to make a movie about a person's life, antagonize them, right?"

Earlier Thursday, two Mexican security officials said federal prosecutors had issued the search order for Del Castillo because the movie and telenovela star did not voluntarily appear before authorities to give a statement as requested. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The officials said the order applies only to Mexican territory and added that if Del Castillo were found to be in the country, she would be detained to make a statement as a witness and then released after doing so.

Braun said Del Castillo, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was currently in Los Angeles, where she has lived for years.

He declined to comment on her legal situation in Mexico or whether he had been contacted by U.S. authorities.

Del Castillo recently sought a court injunction that would bar Mexican authorities from detaining her, although the judge asked her lawyers for more specifics before proceeding with the case.

Mexican authorities say the October meeting between Guzman, Del Castillo and Penn in the mountains of northwestern Mexico helped them locate the cartel leader, though he escaped arrest on that occasion.

Del Castillo has appeared in movies and TV shows produced in the United States, Mexico and elsewhere including "Weeds" and "La Reina del Sur."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Pepper-spraying anti-Donald Trump demonstrators brawl with pro-Trump marchers in California: Police [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Brawls between a gang of pepper-spraying anti-Trump counter-protesters and proponents of the U.S. president broke out on a Southern California beach over the weekend, authorities said. The violence erupted when pro-Trump marchers, of about 2,000 people, at Bolsa Chica State Beach reached a group of about 30 counter-protesters, some of whom began spraying the irritant, said Capt. Source
  • NATO wants to spend over $3B US to bolster satellite, cyber defence

    World News CBC News
    NATO plans to spend 3 billion euros ($3.24 billion US) to upgrade its satellite and computer technology over the next three years as the Western military alliance adapts to new threats, a senior official said. Seeking to deter hackers, and other threats including Iranian missiles, the investments underscore NATO's recognition that conflicts are increasingly fought on computer networks as well as in the air, on land and at sea. Source
  • 8 feared dead in Japan avalanche

    World News CBC News
    Eight people are feared dead and two were in critical condition on Monday after an avalanche hit a group of high school students and teachers climbing in central Japan. It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were students, an official said. Source
  • New York cop quits to avoid firing after shooting unarmed teen

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager resigned Sunday from the New York Police Department to avoid being fired following a disciplinary trial in a case that sparked outrage over police use of deadly force against black men and boys. Source
  • 'Nasty cyclone' could bring 300 km/hr winds to parts of northeast Australia

    World News CBC News
    Thousands of Australians abandoned their homes as a powerful cyclone bore down on coastal towns in Queensland on Monday, while others ignored authorities' advice to evacuate with winds forecast to reach up to 300 km per hour. Source
  • Police search for suspects after deadly nightclub shooting in Cincinnati

    World News CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police searched for suspects in a nightclub shooting that left one man dead and 15 other people injured and sent club patrons diving to the ground to dodge bullets in what they described as a chaotic and terrifying scene. Source
  • Trump plans to have son-in-law head up new government office

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump is set to announce a new White House office run by his son-in-law that will seek to overhaul government functions using ideas from the business sector. A senior administration official said Trump on Monday will announce the White House Office of American Innovation. Source
  • South Korea to seek arrest warrant for impeached ex-president Park

    World News CBC News
    South Korean prosecutors said Monday that they want to arrest former President Park Geun-hye over the corruption allegations that triggered a huge political scandal and toppled her from power. The announcement came about one week after prosecutors grilled Park for 14 hours over suspicions that she colluded with a jailed confidante to extort from companies and committed other wrongdoing. Source
  • South Korean prosecutors push to arrest ex-president

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korean prosecutors said Monday they want to arrest former President Park Geun-hye for the corruption allegations that triggered a huge political scandal and toppled her from power. The move comes after prosecutors grilled Park for 14 hours last week over suspicions that she colluded with a jailed confidante to extort from companies and committed other wrongdoing when she was in office. Source
  • Russians by the thousand take part in anti-corruption demonstrations

    World News CBC News
    Trump, after blaming Democrats, now also faults conservatives for failed health-care bill Source