News & Politics

Sean Penn’s Mystery Companion Is a Washington Post Reporter

The New York Post and the Daily Mail reported the star's August interview with Geoff Edgers as a current event.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Sean Penn was spotted! Still wearing his wedding ring, even amid his reported divorce from Leila George! He was meeting with an “unidentified gentleman” at a California restaurant, the New York Post‘s Page Six reported Sunday. On Tuesday the Daily Mail promoted the person to Penn’s “lunch date and possible lawyer” as well as his “friend” and noted he was wearing “a white button-down, black tie, glasses and black leather loafers” and was carrying “a light grey messenger bag and handwritten notes.”

Washingtonian can reveal that this intriguing individual is in fact Geoff Edgers, a reporter for the Washington Post. And that his meeting with Penn took place in August.

Look, the paparazzo is even in Edgers’ recent article about Penn, which ran on August 19:

Penn points to a lonely lens about 100 feet away in the parking lot.

“See the photographer on the other side of the gray truck?” he asks. …

“They come to check, see if anybody famous is over here,” says Penn. “They’ll collect the picture of me. They’re not going to make a lot of money on that now.”

Shows what Sean Penn knows about celebrity photography!

Reached by phone, Edgers says “The scandal was Sean Penn was wearing his wedding ring two and a half months ago.” He found out about his turn as Penn’s mystery companion from relatives in New York on a family group text—one cousin said she was sure his wife dressed him. Edgers’ wife just said “Poor Sean”—he’s not sure if she feels bad about Penn’s divorce or his legal representation, the reporter says. After all, his formal education ended with a liberal arts bachelor’s from Tufts. “I could talk to him about The Great Gatsby,” he says, “but I’m not really qualified to represent anyone.”

The journalist and author Taffy Brodesser-Akner noted on Twitter that Edgers has achieved “mystery ex-brunette status” with these articles, referring to the time she ended up in paparazzi photos with Tom Hiddleston when she profiled the actor.

Edgers is happy he got a haircut before taking this assignment, and that he dressed up for his interview. The messenger bag is a Danish School Bag, he says, and those “loafers” are in fact burgundy and black brogues made by John Fluevog, which he has had resoled four times. “I demand a correction!” he says. 

His turn as Sean Penn’s mystery companion has given him a view on how celebrities and their publicists can view media outlets: “We have to remember that for every time we do our fact checks and go over every detail and try to get everything right there are 30 articles where I am Sean Penn’s attorney.” Perhaps Edgers could continue to get better jobs if other tabloids pick up the story? “I imagine before long Sean and I will be purchasing the Cubs if all goes well,” Edgers says. 

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.