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Sean Penn Breaks His Silence About El Chapo Interview, Talks Regrets

Sean Penn thinks people missed the point of his controversial Rolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord El Chapo. In a new sit-down with CBS’ Charlie Rose, the two-time Oscar winner, 55, opened up about the experience for the first time. 

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Sean Penn
Sean Penn

“I have a terrible regret,” he admitted to Rose. “I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy about the war on drugs. … My article failed.”

Penn thinks that people are too focused on his involvement with El Chapo’s January 8 capture, for which the Mexican authorities have credited him as “essential.”

Sean Penn on' 60 Minutes.'
Sean Penn on ’60 Minutes.’

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“There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I, with El Chapo, that it was, as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted, ‘essential to his capture,'” Penn explained. “We had met with him many weeks earlier, on October 2, in a place nowhere near where he was captured.”

Sean Penn
Sean Penn

The actor believes that the Mexican officials’ public statement implicating him was a calculated move, which was intended to put him in the cartel’s crosshairs. But he added that he is not fearful for his life.

“Here’s the things that we know: We know that the Mexican government, they were clearly very humiliated by the notion that someone found him before they did,” Penn said. “Well, nobody found him before they did. We’re not smarter than the DA or the Mexican intelligence. We had a contact, upon which we were able to facilitate an invitation.”

Sean Penn and El Chapo
Sean Penn and El Chapo

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Now Penn thinks that his article has missed its original purpose.

“I thought this is somebody upon whose interview I could begin a conversation about the policy of the war on drugs,” he explained. “That was my simple idea.”

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