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Sean Penn: ‘Terrible regret’ about interview with Joaquin Guzman

Charlie Rose, left, and actor Sean Penn are

Charlie Rose, left, and actor Sean Penn are seen during a Jan. 14, 2016, interview in Santa Monica, Calif., about Penn's meeting with Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The interview will air Jan. 17 on the CBS television program "60 Minutes." Credit: AP

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’ Charlie Rose.

A clip of the interview, which occurred Thursday and is scheduled to air on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, aired on CBS on Friday morning.

Penn 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.”

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.

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 drug lord’s capture.

Penn said, “We had met with him many weeks earlier . . . on Oct. 2, in a place nowhere near where he was captured.”

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