Actress Glad She's Not Cast in Drug Lord's Trial

Published : Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5:41 AM

Kate del Castillo

Even actresses have limits to how much attention they’d like lavished upon them.

Kate del Castillo, the Mexican thespian who arranged a meeting between actor Sean Penn and the notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman told a panel at the Television Critics Association held at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena she was relieved to not be a witness in the latter’s trial.

The “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South) star said she does not regret arranging the face-to-face, but admitted that fallout from the incident kept her from visiting and working in Mexico for more than three years, according to a Jan. 30 Associated Press report of the event.

Del Castillo said she filmed the upcoming sequel to “La Reina del Sur” outside of the country, with a double shooting her scenes in Mexico.

She told of an unsettling experience upon returning to Mexico, when her Mexican passport triggered an alert. An American citizen, Del Castillo said she could have presented her U.S. passport for entry but insisted on using the document from her native country.

“It shocked me,” she said. The actress was detained for 20 minutes as officials scurried. She expected to be arrested and returned to the United States.

Finally released, she claimed to relish visiting her parents.“I slept right between them. I needed that. I’m a 46-year-old woman, but I felt like I was seven,” she said.

Del Castillo filed a human rights complaint in 2017, alleging she was unable to travel to Mexico because her communications with Guzman were under investigation. In December, the actress filed a lawsuit against former Mexican officials for $60 million over what she considered “political persecution.”

Mexican authorities investigated del Castillo following the 2015 meeting between Guzman and Penn, after the actor wrote a magazine article drawn from the encounter. Del Castillo said she introduced them because she was considering doing a documentary or film about Guzman’s life.

Guzman is being tried on drug and murder conspiracy charges in federal court in New York.

Del Castillo spoke Jan. 29, during the TCA Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington.

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