Earlier this year actor Sean Penn became mired in controversy when Rolling Stone published his secret interview with then-fugitive Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the murderous Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo.
The two men were brought together by an unlikely liaison, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Though del Castillo has yet to break through in English-language television, she is widely adored for her defining role in the Telemundo telenovela La Reina del Sur.
Four years ago, del Castillo sent out a long, free-form Tweet, in which she spoke favorably of El Chapo, saying she trusted him more than the Mexican government.
Then, she got a phone call from El Chapo's lawyers. They told her El Chapo was a fan of hers and wanted to give her his life rights so she could make a movie about him.
Del Castillo recruited two Argentine producers, who in turn connected her with Sean Penn. According to del Castillo's account, she expected Penn to help her figure out how to bring an El Chapo film to the big screen. Penn has said his only intention was to write an article based on an interview with the drug lord.
Journalist Robert Draper recently profiled del Castillo in the New Yorker. He spoke to KCRW's Madeleine Brand about the many apparent misunderstandings between the actress and Sean Penn.