Mexico Is Hunting for the TV Starlet Who Arranged Sean Penn's Meeting With El Chapo

Prosecutors have questions for the actress.
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Kate del Castillo Getty

Kate del Castillo. (Photo: Alexander Tamargo / Getty)

Telenovela star Kate del Castillo, who assisted Sean Penn in arranging the actor's meeting with then-fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, has been ordered to come in for questioning by the Mexican authorities. 

It doesn't look like del Castillo is simply considered a witness. According to a report from the Associated Press, she could be in some serious legal hot water herself for arranging the meeting between the drug kingpin and actor, even though there are no formal charges against her at this time:

Authorities have been seeking to interview del Castillo for an investigation of possible money-laundering involving Guzman and the actress' tequila business, after last month's revelation that she helped broker a meeting between the capo and actor Sean Penn. She has not been accused of any crime.  

"In the course of the investigation they are going to talk to her, right?" Harland Braun, her U.S. lawyer, told The Associated Press. "If we receive proper information and credentials, she'll talk to them. She's not hiding anything."

Del Castillo's Tequila Honor LLC, set up in the United States in 2015, has under sharp scrutiny from Mexican and American law enforcement officials. As recently as February 1st, UPI reported Tequila Honor's Miami headquarters was a "ghost business," with no one working at or using the address to which mail for del Castillo's company is sent.  

Del Castillo might have avoided a formal summons had she shown up to give a voluntary witness statement. She did not, and anonymous sources told the AP that's why there's now an order that she be detained if she's found anywhere in Mexico. 

The AP report indicated that del Castillo, who is a "naturalized" American and lives in LA, probably had some idea that Mexican authorities were ready to tighten the screws, as she had her own attorneys petition the court for orders that would prevent her detention in Mexico. 

It looks like it's only a matter of time before the actress may have some uncomfortable questions to answer. We still don't know if Sean Penn will receive similar treatment.

h/t Associated Press