It’s been widely reported that Sean Penn’s reporting may have endangered his subject, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera, for a profile in Rolling Stone. Communications with the suspected cartel leader, murderer and drug trafficker might have led to his apprehension by authorities. Now, Guzmán’s lawyer tells Reuters that Penn hurt his client in another way, arguing that he exaggerated if not outright invented El Chapo’s quotes in the article that brag about drug smuggling, including smuggling more illicit drugs “than anybody else in the world.”

"It is a lie, absurd speculation from Mr Penn," Badillo, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. "Where's the proof? Where's the audio?"

Is Guzmán’s lawyer just trying to put Guzmán’s confession back in the bottle now that he’s mounting his client’s legal defense, or did Sean Penn actually misrepresent the fugitive's quotes during the October interview?

Assuming that Penn has no incentive to willfully distort Guzmán, a few facts could explain an accidental misquoting. The Hollywood director and actor readily admits that he does not speak Spanish, and that few if any of El Chapo’s crew speak English.

It’s possible that Penn’s questions, along with his final piece, could have gotten lost in translation. Even if he sent a copy of the article to Guzmán for approval (as an editor’s note claims), who is to say that Guzmán actually read or understood the text?

This chapter in the emerging scandal of El Chapo Speaks may play in Penn’s favor, since many of his critics pointed to the agreement to give Guzmán final approval over the piece. But if Badillo is right, it could be a reminder that you shouldn’t send a English (and maybe French Creole?) speaking actor/direct/development worker to do a Spanish-speaking journalist’s job.