George Clooney gifted $1 million each to his 14 friends. Here’s why it was completely deserved
George Clooney not only gave $1 million to his friends but also paid the taxes on the gift so that they could keep the entire $1 million.hollywood Updated: Dec 14, 2017 12:18 IST
Almost everyone knows actor George Clooney is a good guy, but 14 close friends found out just how much of a good guy he is when he gave each of them $1 million to thank them for helping him when he moved to Los Angeles.
The incident happened in 2013 but came to light only recently when Clooney’s close friend and business partner Rande Gerber dished out the details during an appearance on MSNBC’s Headliners.
Not only did Clooney, now 56, refuse to take no from some of his friends – known in the actor’s inner circle as “The Boys” – but he also paid the taxes on the gift so that they could keep the entire $1 million. "There's a group of guys that we call The Boys. George had called me and The Boys and said 'Hey, mark 27 September, 2013, on your calendar. 'Everyone's going to come to my house for dinner,’” said Gerber, who founded the Casamigos Tequila brand with Clooney that was sold for almost $1 billion.
At the dinner, the 14 friends were presented designer luggage bags, each containing a million dollars in $20 bills.
Gerber, who is married to former supermodel Cindy Crawford, recalled, "George begins to say, 'Listen, I want you guys to know how much you've meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life. I came to LA, I slept on your couch. I'm so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn't be where I am today without all of you. So, it was really important to me that while we’re still all here together, that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.'"
Some of the friends, like Gerber, who is independently wealthy, didn’t want to accept the gift but Clooney refused. Gerber later donated his million dollars to charity.
Gerber noted that some of the friends were not wealthy and were struggling to support their families. “One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family, rides a bicycle to work every day…I mean these are guys that took care of George and now he's giving it all back,” he said.
“Every one of us, 14 of us, got a million dollars. Every single one of us. We're in shock. Like 'What is this?',” he added.
Gerber quoted Clooney as saying that he knew all of them had “been through some hard times, some of you are still going through it…You don't have to worry about your kids, you don't have to worry about, you know, school, you don't have to worry about paying your mortgage".
Gerber also noted that Clooney may have gotten his own reward for his gift exactly a year later. “That was September 27th, 2013. Now September 27, 2014, he marries Amal. That's good karma right there,” he said.
According to the The Sunday Times Rich List, Clooney and his wife Amal were worth more than $160 million in 2015.