George Clooney once gifted 14 of his best-friends $1 million each, here’s why

Many of you might have heard of the anecdote about Georgy Clooney giving 14 of his best-friends suitcases filled with $1 million in cash.

Clooney’s good friend and Casamigos business partner, Rande Gerber, first shared the story on MSNBC’s “Headliners” show in 2017.

In 2020, the actor himself finally confirmed it and even elaborated on the extraordinary gesture in an interview with GQ.

George Clooney
Wikimedia Commons

“Amal and I had just met, but we weren’t dating at all,” Clooney said, flashing back to his mindset in 2013. “I was a single guy. All of us were aging. I was 52 or something. And most of my friends are older than me.”

Despite his singleness, the Hollywood heartthrob realized he was actually pretty fortunate to have loyal best-friends by his side. He said that for 35 years, these people had helped him in one way or another.

“They helped me when I needed help over the years. And I’ve helped them over the years. We’re all good friends,” he continued.

“And I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f**k am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”

George Clooney

The actor had just been paid a few million dollars for his hit movie “Gravity,” co-starring Sandra Bullock. But instead of saving the money, he decided to give them away—in cash—to his best-friends.

Clooney hatched a plan seemingly straight out of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

He got a van with the word “Florist” painted on its side. He then picked up $14 million cash from a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles that had “giant pallets” of money.

George Clooney with Amal Clooney and his closest guy friends

Alongside a couple of security guys, Clooney stuffed wads of cash into 14 Tumi suitcases. Once it was all done, the actor asked his group of best-friends, called “The Boys,” to come to his house for dinner the next day.

“And I just held up a map and I just pointed to all the places I got to go in the world and all the things I’ve gotten to see because of them,” Clooney told the magazine.

Here’s how Gerber remembered the incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Rande Gerber and George Clooney

“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,'” he said.

“‘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.'”

Gerber said everyone was “in shock” upon seeing their cash gifts. Clooney said he had already paid the taxes on them as well.

“One [friend] was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family,” Gerber said. “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.”

George Clooney and Amal Clooney

Gerber tried to return Clooney’s generous gift. He pulled him aside and said he wasn’t taking the million dollars.

Immediately, the A-lister made a bargain, “I’m just going to make one announcement. If Rande doesn’t take the million dollars, nobody gets their money.”

As a successful businessman himself, Gerber gave his gift to charity.

A year later, good karma came to Clooney in the form of love. On September 27, 2014, he married human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Now, the couple has twins.

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