The documentary at the centre of the controversy, The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story, revolves around a unusual meeting that occurred in October 2015 between Penn, Mexican actress Ms. del Castillo, and one of the world's most wanted men, El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera. In October of that year, Sean Penn (noted actor and amateur investigative journalist/adventurer) organized a meeting with El Chapo (noted murderous drug lord on the lam after escaping prison for the second time).
Penn claimed he had nothing to do with Guzman's recapture.
Del Castillo subsequently became the subject of a criminal investigation by Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez, who threatened to have her arrested if she stepped foot in her native country again.
Boutrous told the streaming service in the letter, "blood will be on their hands if this film causes bodily harm".
Penn spokesman Mark Fabiani portayed del Castillo in an email to The Times as publicity hungry and uninformed, resulting in the series' "false, foolish, and reckless narrative". And although Penn didn't know how to use a laptop and gave the notorious drug lord prior review of his article, Rolling Stone published the 10,000-word first-hand account, which, if anything, is a freaky, somewhat entertaining read.
Consisting of three episodes, the documentary details Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo's highly-publicized clandestine meeting with El Chapo in 2016. "The notion that Mr. Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted DOJ to the trip is a complete fabrication and bald-faced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened", he continued.
Sources from the within the documentary's production say that some of the people in the program suggest Penn told the DOJ about El Chapo's location.
Penn's infamous interview was published a day later in Rolling Stone.
During the interview with the ABC morning show she also revealed that she had a sexual relationship with Sean Penn during the time they worked together.
TMZ reports that several of Penn's lawyers have contacted Netflix in efforts to remove references of the actor's alleged contact with the United States government from the film, noting that Penn could be targeted, along with his family and associates, if the film airs in its current state.
Netflix fired back with a statement saying they allowed Penn to participate in the documentary, but he denied taking part.
After previewing the series earlier this month, Penn told Variety through a spokeswoman: "Mr. Penn just saw it and hopes to have the opportunity to participate; there are profound inaccuracies and presumptions presented in Kate's story".