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New photos show PWC accountant tweeting, mixing envelopes at Oscars

Martha Ruiz, left, and Brian Cullinan of PricewaterhouseCoopers confer on stage after the Best Picture was mistakenly awarded to "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight." Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, who oversee the ballots, said presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

LOS ANGELES - Variety has obtained exclusive photos of PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan -- the man behind the infamous envelope mix-up -- leading up to and during Sunday's gaffe in which "La La Land" was erroneously named best picture over "Moonlight."

PWC has already confirmed Cullinan, a top executive at the firm, as the person responsible for giving presenter Warren Beatty the incorrect envelope.

The newly uncovered photographs (see timeline and photos here) not only show Cullinan engaged on his phone shortly before the "La La Land" miscommunication, he's also photographed mixing two red envelopes backstage alongside Beatty and best actor winner Casey Affleck, who had just exited the stage, which would dispute PWC's official explanation that Cullinan grabbed the wrong envelope from a "backup pile," and shows he was likely always in possession of both the best actress envelope (which was given to presenter Warren Beatty) and the best picture envelope, the night's two final awards.

A spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers was not available for comment.

In the exclusive images below, Cullinan can be seen on his mobile phone at 9:04 p.m. PST, according to the metadata on the photographer's camera (his Emma Stone tweet was posted at 9:05 p.m. and later deleted). Meanwhile Beatty and Dunaway had taken the stage at 9:03 p.m., putting the PWC executive on social media at the start of Beatty and Dunaway's presentation.

"He feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake," PWC chairman Tim Ryan told Variety on Monday. "While I am concerned I hope we will be judged on how quickly we reacted and owned up to the issue."

The Academy has since apologized to the "La La Land" and "Moonlight" filmmakers, as well as Beatty and Dunaway, and continues to investigate the matter.

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