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Kate del Castillo details tense evening with 'El Chapo'

By Marilyn Malara   |   March 11, 2016 at 3:43 PM
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NEW YORK, March 11 (UPI) -- Mexican actress Kate del Castillo offered intimate details of her connection to drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, recalling a moment she feared the prison escapee would assault her.

In an intimate interview with The New Yorker, 43-year-old Castillo -- well known for playing narcotics trader Teresa Mendoza in La Reina del Sur -- recounted the beginnings of her correspondence with the Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin, saying she was first contacted by the drug trafficker's attorneys in hopes of making a biopic.

"I immediately said yes," she said.

Guzman, a seemingly devout fan of Castillo's, intended to gift her all of the rights to his story in order to produce a feature film about his life, the New Yorker reported. He sent several messages of thanks and adoration to the actress throughout their friendship, including lines such as, "I hope to say hello to you in person someday. Hopefully soon," and "I'm not a drinker, but your presence will be a lovely thing, and I very much want to get to know you and become very good friends."

A meeting with Guzman did ultimately occur. Castillo brought along actor, director and advocate Sean Penn and two producers with the intention of talking about the movie. Penn had, however, alternative intentions: He wanted to interview Guzman for a Rolling Stone piece about drug trafficking.

After the fact, Penn released a statement saying Castillo was aware of his intentions to embark on a series of journalistic interviews with the infamous drug trafficker, a claim which the actress called "total and complete [expletive.]"

"This was not how I was expecting the night to be," she told the New Yorker. "But at the moment I thought, maybe we can base the movie on this article."

After the meeting, Guzman escorted Castillo to where she would be spending the night. She explained during that moment, she felt Guzman would assault her, but he instead explained he does not sleep nearby his guests "for their safety."

"Thanks for giving me one of the best days of my life," Castillo recalled him saying.

Guzman was captured in January, six months after his complex escape from a Mexico prison. He got out of the maximum-security facility through an underground tunnel.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has been investigating Castillo's links to Guzman and pressuring her to testify.

Guzman was first captured in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug-trafficking charges. He escaped from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards and was recaptured in February 2014.

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