Sean Penn says he has a "terrible regret" after the publication of his piece for Rolling Stone magazine, for which the actor met with and interviewed the Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
"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 in the war on drugs," Penn said in an interview with CBS's Charlie Rose.
He continued: "Let's go to the big picture of what we all want. We all want this drug problem to stop. We all want them — the killings in Chicago to stop. We are the consumer. Whether you agree with Sean Penn or not, there is a complicity there. And if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs, just as many. And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article come out, talking about that? One percent? I think that'd be generous."
"You're saying there's not much dialogue about—" Rose began.
"My article failed," Penn said, interjecting. "Let me be clear, my article has failed."
A clip of the interview, which occurred Thursday and is scheduled to air on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, aired on CBS on Friday morning.
Guzmán — who sparked a manhunt after tunneling out of prison months ago — was recaptured earlier this month by Mexican security forces. Penn's piece for Rolling Stone was published after the drug lord was taken into custody again, and has drawn some criticism for the negotiations that went into securing the interview, and concessions that the magazine made.
"When you get the story that every journalist in the world wanted, there's a lot of green-eyed monsters who gonna come give you a kiss," Penn told Rose, according to CBS.
In his conversation with CBS, Penn, who interviewed Guzmán while he was still on the lam, also pushed back on the characterization that the meeting between the pair was a factor in the capture drug lord's capture, calling that suggestion a "myth."
"There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I, with El Chapo, that it led, that it was — as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted — 'essential' to his capture," Penn said. "We had met with him many weeks earlier … on Oct. 2, in a place nowhere near where he was captured."
"So as far as, you know, you had nothing to do, and your visit had nothing to do, with his recapture?" Rose responded.
"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 didn't — we're not smarter than the DEA or the Mexican intelligence. We had a contact upon which we were able to facilitate an invitation."
"Do you believe that the Mexican government released this in part because they wanted to see you blamed and to put you at risk?" Rose asked.
"Yes," Penn replied.
"They wanted to encourage the cartel to put you in their crosshairs?" Rose continued.
"Yes," Penn replied again.
Are you fearful for your life?" Rose asked.
"No," said Penn.