Sean Penn inserted himself in Kate del Castillo’s El Chapo interview, never telling her he was doing a magazine story and now she’s exposed to life-threatening danger … this according to Kate’s version of what happened.

Sources close to Kate say the way the interview really went down was that one of El Chapo’s lawyers contacted Kate while the fugitive was on the run and said the drug lord wanted to meet her, for the purpose of doing a “Mexican-Godfather” type movie on his life.

Our Kate sources say one of the men told Kate he had spoken with Penn about the impending El Chapo meeting and Penn wanted to come along.

Our Kate sources say when the group met with El Chapo, Penn blurted out almost immediately … he was doing an article for Rolling Stone and asked El Chapo’s permission for an interview.

Our Penn sources say Kate actually signed off on the article after the story had been written and was involved in the fact-checking.

The sources add Penn had no interest in a movie and made that clear to Kate from the beginning.

Louis Tomlinson