Sean Penn Gets ‘Romantic’ With Mystery Blonde As Questions Arise About El Chapo Interview

Sean Penn was reportedly spotted with an unknown blonde woman in Chicago last week, enjoying a romantic dinner as questions began to arise about his interview with drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Penn was spotted getting cozy at a restaurant with the mystery woman over the weekend and reportedly shared a window seat with her, but it’s unclear how serious they may be or how long they’ve known one another. The date comes several months after Charlize Theron allegedly broke things off with Penn by “ghosting” him, or not taking his calls.

“He came in with no reservation so he was not pretentious or trying to set it up or making sure he was incognito – he literally walked right in…they were very romantic with one another,” a source told People about Penn’s date night.

Penn has been in the headlines quite a bit recently after he wrote an article for Rolling Stone detailing his meeting with El Chapo while the kingpin was on the run from authorities following an escape from prison. Actress Kate del Castillo says she was invited to his hideout because he wanted to give her the rights to his life story for a movie, and when Sean Penn expressed interest, she thought it might give the film some credibility.

“They say, ‘Well, Señor Guzmán wants you to do a movie about him. He wants to give you the rights of his life,’ and I was, ‘Why me? Why me?’ And they say, ‘Well, because he is a fan of yours. He loved your character. He loved your character in ‘La Reina del Sur.’ But he loves your family. He knows your family are honorable family, and you tell the truth. You’re brave.” said del Castillo.

The actress says she knew the risks involved, but to be able to speak to one of the most wanted men in the world was too much to turn down. She met with him, along with Penn, and when the three had a moment to sit down together, she says Penn dropped the bombshell that he was writing an article about the experience. Fearful of what might happen if she let El Chapo see her surprise, she had to pretend she knew about it.

“I was just like, ‘Okay. This is new for me.’ But I’m thinking– I’m scrambling inside of me like, ‘Okay. Okay. Okay.’ … I wanted to grab Sean and put him aside. And ask him, ‘Excuse me. Why didn’t you tell me this?’ … it’s like there was no way I was going to do that.”

Kate del Castillo also claims that parts of the article aren’t entirely true, such as a story Penn tells about going through a military checkpoint and being waved through because they were traveling with one of El Chapo’s sons. The pair never went through a checkpoint at all, she says. Penn claims that everything he wrote is the truth and that the actress is simply trying to distance herself from the trip because it’s drawn attention from the Mexican authorities.

“I stand by my piece. I think Kate would be happier to separate herself from recollections that inflame the Mexican government at this point,” Penn said.

Sean Penn also claims that he never told Kate that he was interested in being a part of a film about El Chapo’s life, despite her belief that he was there with her to do exactly that. The actor released a statement saying that although he is fond of her, he had no intention of meeting with the kingpin because he wanted to make a movie.

“I like Kate. She’s energetic, sweet and has heart. At no point did I express an interest in producing, directing or acting in her film,” Sean Penn wrote.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty