“Let me tell you that I’m more excited about you than the story, my friend,” fugitive drug kingpin El Chapo told actress Kate del Castillo in a series of text messages leading up to their fateful meeting. “Ha, ha, ha! Knowing that makes me really glad. You make me blush,” del Castillo demurred in response. The text messages were released by authorities following the sensational re-capture of the violent drug lord who made his second escape from a Mexican prison last July, and they show his apparent crush on del Castillo, the actress who negotiated the terms of Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo, may have been his downfall. El Chapo initially reached out to del Castillo, perhaps ostensibly about a film project, and del Castillo eventually convinced him to agree to the interview with Penn. Prior to del Castillo bring up Penn, the drug lord had no idea who the actor and director is. In amusing fashion, El Chapo’s lawyer, also via text message, explained Penn’s significance in Hollywood.
But it’s the text messages exchanged by El Chapo and del Castillo under code names — and intercepted by authorities — that are the most riveting. The drug lord lavishes the actress with flattery and flirtation. “You are the best of this world. We will be great friends … I will take care of you more than my own eyes,” he tells her in one message. Del Castillo responded, saying, “I’m beyond moved that you say you will care for me. no one has ever taken care of me, thank you!” In another text message he orders an intermediary to relay a message to del Castillo. “Tell Kate that when she comes we will drink tequila and dance. Tell her that,” the infamous drug lord demanded.
Why was El Chapo applying the full-court press in those text message exchanges? One clue might come from a secret surgery he reportedly underwent following his prison break. According to reports, El Chapo ventured out of his secure hiding place and went to Tijuana where he received a male enhancement surgery to counteract erectile dysfunction. The elective surgery, which could not be performed in his remote hideaway, was seen as a major risk, but for a man who reportedly has a hearty sexual appetite, it was one worth leaving his “comfort zone” to undergo.