Mexican actress Kate del Castillo is suing former Mexican government officials for over $60 million in damages, alleging “political persecution” against her in the aftermath of her and Sean Penn’s clandestine meeting with drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
While del Castillo was never charged for helping to orchestrate the 2015 meeting between the drug lord and the actors — an encounter chronicled by Penn for Rolling Stone — she accused the government of leaking information against her that damaged her reputation and negatively impacted her livelihood, the Associated Press reported. She is seeking “moral and material” damages from the government in her lawsuit, which is aimed at prosecutors who worked in the administration of former Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Del Castillo initially spearheaded the meeting because she was interested in making a film about El Chapo, who is currently standing trial in Brooklyn, New York, on a 17-count indictment for drug trafficking and conspiring to kill those who threatened his empire. Guzman faces life in prison if convicted.
During the actress’ press conference in Mexico City announcing her lawsuit against the Mexican government, del Castillo took aim at Penn for what she alleged was his role in the arrest of El Chapo following the publication of the Rolling Stone article.
“Sean Penn apparently helped in the location and detention” of Guzman, del Castillo said. “I was not aware of that situation, and that is why I have always referred to it as betrayal. [Penn] behaved very badly because he didn’t protect me and put my life at risk.” The actress added that she wished she could kick Penn in the groin, the AP reported.