Lawyers representing the movie star Sean Penn have apparently warned streaming giant Netflix that their new documentary about the captured Mexican drug-lord ‘El Chapo’ places the Hollywood actor in danger.

In a letter sent to Netflix that the New York Times has reportedly had sight of in the last week, Penn’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. told the streaming service that “blood will be on their hands if this film causes bodily harm” to the star, apparently because Penn believes the documentary suggests that he had some role in helping US authorities capture El Chapo.

The film, titled The Day I Met El Chapo, concerns an October 2015 meeting between Penn, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and drug-trafficker El Chapo (real name Joaquin Guzman Loera), one of the most wanted men in the world.

Sean PennSean Penn is in dispute with Netflix over 'The Day I Met El Chapo'

That meeting formed the basis for an article written by Penn for Rolling Stone magazine, which was published the day after El Chapo was captured by American authorities.

Mark Fabiani, Penn’s spokesperson, also told the New York Times: “It is reprehensible that, in their ongoing, relentless efforts to gain additional attention and publicity, Ms del Castillo and her team (who have zero first-hand knowledge) have sought to create this profoundly false, foolish and reckless narrative.”

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“The notion that Mr Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted Department of Justice to the trip is a complete fabrication and baldfaced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened.”

Penn, 57, is concerned that retribution attacks may be launched against him by elements still loyal to El Chapo once the documentary is released, if the film gives off the wrong impression about his role in what happened.

In response, Netflix said: “Penn was given the opportunity on multiple occasions to participate in The Day I Met El Chapo and did not do so. The events surrounding the now-infamous meeting have been well covered, including by Penn himself in Rolling Stone and his many public comments since. The only new ground we’re breaking with this series is to give Kate a chance to finally tell her side of this stranger-than-fiction story.”

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