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Netflix denies 'struggle' to cast Prince Andrew role for 'The Crown'

Controversy has swirled around Prince Andrew for years due to his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
/ Source: TODAY

Netflix is denying a report that "The Crown" is having trouble finding an actor to play Prince Andrew.

After the British tabloid The Sun reported that producers of the Emmy-winning historical drama "are struggling to find an actor" for the role and have advertised the part of the Duke of York on the casting website Spotlight, Netflix issued a statement to TODAY, saying, "There is absolutely no struggle to cast any role for season 5 of The Crown and it is normal practice for productions to advertise in Spotlight."

Netflix is denying reports that "The Crown" is struggling to find an actor to play Prince Andrew. Chris Jackson / AFP via Getty Images

Controversy has swirled around Andrew, 61, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, for years due to his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The disgraced financier died by suicide in August 2019 in a Manhattan federal prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Andrew has acknowledged that he knew Epstein, but has denied any wrongdoing. The prince stepped back from his public duties in 2019.

Season five of "The Crown" is scheduled to start shooting this summer. The new season is expected to cover Andrew's marriage to Sarah Ferguson, 61, whom he divorced in 1996. The former couple share two daughters, Princess Beatrice, 32, and Princess Eugenie, 31.

In keeping with the show's tradition of recasting its lead roles every two seasons, season five will bring along many new faces.

Imelda Staunton will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Olivia Colman, Jonathan Pryce will succeed Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville is replacing Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, and Elizabeth Debicki will follow Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.